A priest, a detective and an impoverished poet might sound like the setup to a joke - but Father Duffy, Sergeant Ben Goldsmith and Tim Brandon are no laughing matter in the gripping new addition to the Library of Congress Crime Classics, "A Gentle Murderer" The landmark 1951 Dorothy Salisbury Davis novel, called "one of the greatest detective stories of modern times" by famed critic Anthony Boucher, is the most recent addition to the Library's series of crime novels that have fallen from popular attention.
The Library recently acquired courtroom artist Mary Chaney's sketches from the trials of Rodney King in Los Angeles from 1992-1994. The Black motorist was beaten viciously by white police officers after a high-speed chase in 1991. The acquittal of the officers in state court set off days of deadly riots and became a touchstone in American society.
In a National Book Festival Presents conversation that premieres tonight (June 5), Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch discuss the national protests that have roiled the nation after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.