Rare book dealer Daniel Pike calls in Private Investigator Jack Kiley to validate the provenance of purported pulp fiction by a deceased Modernist poet. Jack spent his policing career filtering fact from fiction but can the PI perceive poetry from pulp?
1920’s London. Factory girl Kate Goss has lost her mother and her father has vanished. Falling into the brutal hands of the local money lender, Kate gets a cleaning job in a most unusual bookshop — where anyone can learn to read and buy books cheaply. But as the pages of this new world open up, so too do new dangers.
A newly-inherited eighteenth century encyclopedia of mythological, religious and literary tales abounds with unseemly acts and indecent details. But why has a pious previous owner been overzealous with an eraser? When the perplexed Professor Rounsevell enlists his younger wife Harriet to investigate, her discoveries soon threaten to dissolve their marriage.