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January2007
HOME The Mortimer Mouse Club Murder at the Library of Congress What Does RSS Stand For? And the Kluge Prize Goes To … And the Blind Shall Read “The Leonardo of the Comic Book” What's This Dog Doing with His Nose in a Cone? Why, He's Listening to His Master's Voice.
Murder at the Library of Congress

Jonathan DeHaven, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, died mysteriously while running through his daily ritual of checking the division's vaults. Boy, imagine the headlines and breaking news stories if such a thing actually happened – and in one of Washington's most hallowed institutions!

"The Collectors" by David Baldacci Author David Baldacci poses with a fan at the 2005 National Book Festival

In "The Collectors," David Baldacci's sequel to his New York Times bestseller "The Camel Club," renegade CIA agent Roger Seagraves has set himself up in the business of freelance assassination and treason. The Camel Club, a group of four dysfunctional crime solvers, including a Library of Congress staff member, rises to the challenge after the sudden demise of the head of the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Baldacci relied heavily on the staff and resources of the Library when writing his novel. The Preservation Office plays an important role in the plot, along with the "Bay Psalm Book," the earliest (1640) extant book printed in British North America and a key component of the Library's rare book collection.

Unfortunately, you'll have to read the book to see how everything turns out. For a few spoilers, Baldacci's recent lecture at the Library on "The Collectors" is now accessible by webcast.

Be sure to check out the webcast homepage to view other book talks, as well as concerts, poetry readings and lectures previously held at the Library – including appearances by Baldacci at the Library's 2002 and 2005 National Book Festivals.


A. "The Collectors" by David Baldacci. 2006. Reproduction Information: Not available for reproduction.

B. Author David Baldacci poses with a fan at the 2005 National Book Festival. Photographer Michaela McNichol. 2005. Reproduction Information: Not available for reproduction.