Henry Sullivan’s old flame Barbara runs the failing Alcott & Poe bookstore, where he used to work before he realized he wasn’t cut out for dealing with the public. Now he sells the fine volumes he collects on his website. Barbara’s icy partner Sharon, looking for money to keep the store going, tells Henry that popular author George Duggan plagiarized his last bestseller from Sharon’s lover, a murdered history professor. Henry ends up with a murder of his own when reformed junkie Eddy Perry, who sold him a book, is killed, apparently for the money Henry paid him, and his estate includes a manuscript of his own that Henry feels is worthy of publication. Meanwhile, Henry’s current girlfriend, Della, gets involved in the mess Sharon’s accusations have created. So do Duggan’s lawyer and Nora Lynch of Tremont Press, who rejected the professor’s manuscript but might have discussed it with Duggan. Henry finds himself in a great deal of danger just for helping an old friend.Henry’s second (Hound, 2009) is not for those who require a fast and furious story line. The strong mystery is woven into a slow-paced, philosophical discussion of the painful demise of those special bookstores whose nooks and crannies once yielded fabulous finds.