Hello Tombs & Tomes Members!

You are cordially invited to attend the Tombs & Tomes Book Club outside the chapel (inside if raining) OR virtually via Zoom in May.

Our next meeting is:

In Person: Tuesday, May 9

Virtual: Wednesday, May 10


We will start at 6:30 p.m.

The readers have spoken and our next books are below! For May meeting, we will be joined by deathcare professional Lily Buerkle, Congressional Cemetery's Director of Site Sales and Funerals and Licensed Mortician.

If you would like a book to be included on the ballot for September and November, please send me an email with recommendations. We are planning a Tombs and Tomes birthday party for the September meeting and I'm hopeful we could perhaps read one of the first books the club read, either Stiff or The Devil in the White City. Both will be included in the ballot sent to everyone after the May meeting.

I'd also like to remind everyone that we maintain a Tombs and Tomes page on Goodreads and Facebook. I have linked them both below if you would like to use them for discussion before or after our meetings.

To get to the meeting:

Tombs and Tomes (in person) is held in either our Historic Chapel or right outside of it when the weather is nice. To get to Congressional Cemetery, please refer to the below address. Our front gate entrance is at the corner of E St. and Potomac Ave. District street parking is available out front and we are Metro Accessible via the Orange line Potomac Avenue and Stadium Armory stops.


We will be discussing:


All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, An Exploration of People Who Have Made Death Their Life's Work

by Hayley Campbell

A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people—morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners—who work in it and what led them there.

We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we’re so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look?

Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear...


American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI

byKate Winkler Dawson

A gripping historical true crime narrative that "reads like the best of Conan Doyle himself" (Karen Abbott, author of The Ghosts of Eden Park), American Sherlock recounts the riveting true story of the birth of modern criminal investigation.

Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities--beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books--sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the "American Sherlock Holmes," Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America's greatest--and first--forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural...

May RSVP Here!
Zoom Link Here!
Happy Reading,
A.J. Orlikoff
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