The Readymade Thief

Seventeen-year-old Lee Cuddy is on the run. After getting framed for a crime she didn't commit (and committing several for which she didn't get caught), she spent months in juvenile detention before making her escape.

Unwilling to contact her parents, who basically abandoned her to juvy, Lee tries to survive on the streets of Philadelphia. She seeks shelter at a warehouse full of squatting teenagers, but there Lee becomes entangled with the Societé Anonyme, a mysterious group that throws exclusive raves around the city, and seems to be somehow connected to the artist Marcel Duchamp.

Nervous about the shelter she has chosen and the role that some members of the Societé Anonyme want her to play, Lee decides to run again. With the help of a young hacker named Tomi, Lee must avoid both the Societé Anonyme and the authorities as she deciphers codes Duchamp left in his artwork to solve a mystery that has gotten under her skin.

Mixing secret societies, art history, puzzles to be solved and urban exploration, The Readymade Thief is hard to categorize. A fast-paced, plot-driven novel with a resolute heroine and a lot of history, it is a bit unsettling, and definitely unusual--especially since it is author Augustus Rose's first novel. Readers who enjoy literary puzzles, or who are looking for something a little different, should look no farther than The Readymade Thief. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans

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