It is set around the time of the end of World War I. A young man, Aubrey Gilbert, stops by the shop, trying to sell Mifflin advertising copy. He fails but is intrigued by the proprietor. Later, a certain volume mysteriously disappeared from Mifflin's shelves. This is a lively and often humorous tale. It is full of intrigues and is generously sprinkled with liberal doses of Mifflin's unique philosophy on literature and book selling.