The Arcade, a rare and used book emporium in New York, does not limit its colorful characters to the titles on sale. The store manager is an albino, the cashier is a motherly transsexual, and new employee Rosemary is an eighteen-year-old orphan who just emigrated from Tasmania. In The Secret of Lost Things, Sheridan Hay creates a rich and eccentric world in which interactions fold into both a coming-of-age story and a literary mystery. When Rosemary is asked to help read store correspondence, she is piqued by a reference to an unpublished Herman Melville manuscript. Realizing this might provide opportunity to draw closer to her coworker crush, she agrees to secret meetings and surreptitious research. What she uncovers is a purpose and a perspective she hadn’t anticipated.