When Rachel Hennings inherits Oscar Vermilion's used bookshop on Los Angeles's Santa Monica Boulevard, she decides to move to Los Angeles and run it as is, ignoring well-meaning advice to sell it for its valuable real estate. Rachel loves the idea of handling the precious first editions and living with the spirit of the famous authors who had frequented the shop since the 1930's. But on her first day, there is a burglary attempt, but not one of the valuable books is taken. Rachel also finds herself possessed by the baffling gift of a form of automatic signature. Then a curious sort of evidence suggests that "The Atlantis Courier," an early book by a famous Hollywood writer, was written by a ghost writer - who was found murdered several days after her uncle's death. Rachel stumbles on some shadowy connections between the dead ghost writer and the not very admirable best-selling author. then, when murder strikes right on her doorstep, Rachel intensifies her investigations and finds herself thrust into a strange literary underworld, peopled with a smooth big-time agent, an aging tennis star, an amorous book columnist, and assorted book groupies.