“The Metropolitan Opera Murders” — Crime Classics Latest

“The Metropolitan Opera Murders,” the latest entry in the Library’s Crime Classics series, is a novel from a woman who knows the score. Helen Traubel, a longtime star soprano who performed at the Met for years, wrote the book in 1951, shortly before she left the opera to pursue a career in popular entertainment.

The Rolling Stones, Hell’s Angels and Altamont: A New View

The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center has found a never-before-seen home movie of the infamous Altamont Free Concert in 1969, during which a member of the Hell’s Angels killed a member of the audience. The incident became a cultural turning point of the era.

The “Day Dream” of Billy Strayhorn’s Music

Billy Strayhorn was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and lyricist, most often working for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He wrote “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life,” “Chelsea Bridge,” “Day Dream” and dozens of other standards. His papers are collected at the Library of Congress.

It’s Magic! Ye Olde Hocus Pocus

The earliest known English-language work on magic was published in England in 1635, containing how-tos for many tricks, including an on-stage decapitation. It’s the forerunner of the “saw the assistant in half” trick, performed for ages. The Library’s copy of this influential book comes from the library of Harry Houdini, the master magician and escape artist of the early 20th century, who donated his collection to the Library.