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NLS: Overseas Outlook

January to June 2011; Volume 34, Number 1

Choice Magazine Listening

NLS has been sending Choice Magazine Listening (CML) on cassette free to overseas patrons for a number of years. Production of CML on cassettes will be phased out and will migrate to digital flash-memory cartridges that can be played on the NLS digital talking-book machines. Citing increased costs, CML requests that patrons return this new digital magazine after they finish reading it. A new CML issue will then be loaded on the returned cartridge and sent back to them. Also to help reduce costs, CML became a quarterly publication this spring. New issues are twelve hours in length.

When CML completes the transition to digital cartridge over the next two years, the Overseas Service will no longer distribute the magazine. Readers will subscribe directly from CML. Please inform the overseas librarian if you wish to receive CML on digital cartridge so that your information can be sent to CML.

DTBM pillow speaker

NLS is introducing a pillow speaker for use with digital talking-book machines (DTBMs). This accessory is compatible with the standard model (DS1), the advanced model (DA1), and the cassette-book
machine (C1).

Pillow speakers are issued only to patrons who are confined to bed. If you qualify and wish to receive a pillow speaker free of charge, please contact the overseas librarian.

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Receiving or returning playback equipment

Readers who are finding it hard to receive and return machines by mail as free matter (free postage) may wish to contact their local American embassy or consulate for advice. Embassies and consulates are not obligated to receive or send mail on behalf of private American citizens, but they may assist you as a courtesy. If you wish to make arrangements either with an embassy or consulate, you may do so. Readers who receive equipment from NLS by FedEx may not return a machine by FedEx. If you wish to return the machine, send it by parcel post at your expense.

Customs duty and tax

Please do not pay customs duty or tax levied on machines sent by the Overseas Service. Machines are the property of the U.S. government on temporary loan to you as a qualified blind or physically handicapped American citizen. Please request a letter from the overseas librarian explaining that the equipment is the property of the U.S. government and subsequently should be duty- and tax-free. You may also request a copy of the international protocol signed by many countries that allows tax-free receipt of material used by blind and handicapped individuals.

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Downloading digital books from BARD

The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), https://nlsbard.loc.gov, is available to registered overseas patrons. Eligible readers may download Library of Congress digital talking books twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You need to be a registered overseas patron in good standing and have an NLS-authorized digital player. You also need to have a computer with high-speed Internet access (not dial-up), a valid e-mail address, a flash cartridge, and a USB cable to connect to your computer. Those interested in using BARD should have basic computer knowledge, including how to search the Internet and complete online forms; how to download, unzip, and save files; and how to transfer files from one place to another. BARD requires completion of a separate online application.

If you have questions about BARD please contact the overseas librarian.

Minibibliography: Agatha Award-winning novels

Each issue of Overseas Outlook includes a list of books on a subject that may be of interest to our patrons. This issue features a minibibliography of books that have won Agatha Awards. The Agatha Awards honor mystery and crime authors who write in the same manner as Agatha Christie. The books listed are from the categories of best novel and best first novel. Some digital titles listed may be available only for download from BARD, the Braille and Audio Reading Download, at https://nlsbard.loc.gov. Braille titles are available to registered patrons on NLS Web-Braille at www.loc.gov/nls/braille. If you would like to receive the books listed, please complete the order form at the end of the newsletter and return it to the overseas librarian.

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
DB/RC 67834 BR 15546
London, 1930s. Wealthy Joseph Waite hires private investigator Maisie Dobbs, a former battlefield nurse, to locate his missing thirty-two-year-old daughter Charlotte. Maisie finds chilling links to Scotland Yard inspector Stratton’s latest murder case—and the Great War’s terrible legacy. 2004.

The Body in the Belfry by Katherine Hall Page
DB/RC 31471
Gourmet caterer Faith Fairchild’s life is turned topsy-turvy by her marriage to the minister of a quaint New England village church. While she adores her husband and new baby, Faith finds the change from her busy life in New York to the quiet of the country hard to tolerate. But her discovery of a dead body and the ensuing investigation—and danger—make her yearn for a return to the quiet life. 1990.

The Body in the Snowdrift by Katherine Hall Page
DB 61863
Caterer Faith Fairchild and her extended family gather at a ski resort in Vermont to celebrate her father-in-law’s seventieth birthday. But after Faith finds the body of a local lawyer, the chef disappears, and another corpse turns up on the slopes, and the clan starts bickering. Includes recipes. 2005.

Bootlegger’s Daughter by Margaret Maron
RC 37825
Janie Whitehead is found murdered in an abandoned mill—her baby Gayle wet and hungry beside her. Eighteen years later, Gayle searches for the murderer’s motive. Family friend Deborah Knott, daughter of a notorious former bootlegger, helps investigate, not realizing it may jeopardize her campaign for judge. Prequel to Southern Discomfort
(RC 37826)
. Edgar Award winner. Strong language and some violence. 1992.

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
DB 70226
Québec. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates the murder of an old man found bludgeoned in a bistro. At a remote cabin purportedly owned by the deceased, Gamache and his team find a cache of rare books, priceless antiquities—and blood. Some strong language. 2009.

Bum Steer by Nancy Pickard
RC 31491 BR 08222
Jenny Cain, the director of a civic foundation in Massachusetts, learns that "Cat" Benet intends to leave the foundation his four-million-dollar Kansas ranch. Benet wants to meet Jenny before he dies, so she flies to Kansas City—only to find that Benet has been smothered in his hospital bed. Jenny’s investigations take her to the ranch, to Dallas, and to Santa Fe. Some strong language. 1990.

The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery by Louise Penny
DB 67419
Popular Three Pines resident Madeleine Favreau dies of fright while attending a séance at the old Hadley house. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache learns that a dose of diet pills played a part in the death—but Madeleine wasn’t dieting. Meanwhile Armand deals with trouble in his ranks. Some strong language. 2007.

Dating Dead Men by Harley Jane Kozak
DB/RC 59695
Los Angeles greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley, busy with a dating research project, dashes off to visit her institutionalized, schizophrenic brother. She finds a body on the road and fears that her sibling could be involved. As Wollie investigates, a colorful cast of characters gradually enters her life. 2004.

Dead Man’s Island by Carolyn G. Hart
DB/RC 63926 BR 09684
Media magnate Chase Prescott invites old flame and retired reporter Henrietta O’Dwyer Collins—Henrie O—to his private South Carolina island to ferret out his would-be murderer from among the family and associates assembled there. Henrie O questions fellow guests as a ferocious hurricane draws near. Some strong language. 1993.

Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery by G.M. Malliet
DB/RC 69655
British mystery writer Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk invites his grown children to his wedding. The four siblings are not happy about the bride and her possible threat to their inheritance. When Sir Adrian and his eldest son are both murdered, Detective Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just investigates. Some strong language. 2008.

Death on a Silver Tray by Rosemary Stevens
BR 13293
London, 1805. George "Beau" Brummell is beseeched by his friend the Duchess of York to clear a ladies’ companion, whom she had recommended, of murder charges. The dreadful old Lady Wrayburn has been poisoned, and the duchess wants to avoid a scandal. 2000.

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
DB/RC 67293
Québec. Much-disliked businesswoman and writer CC de Poitiers is electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake during a curling tournament in the village of Three Pines. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, from Still Life (RC 66731), arrives from Montreal and discovers links to another unsolved crime. Some strong language. 2006.

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
RC 28547
Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth Earl of Asherton, and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers are investigating the murder of a Yorkshire man. The main suspect is the victim’s daughter, who was found sitting by the headless corpse and confessed without apology. But she may have been driven to the crime by incestuous abuse. 1988.

Grime and Punishment: A Jane Jeffry Mystery by Jill Churchill
DB/RC 68692
Jane Jeffry’s friend Shelley Nowack hires the Happy Helper Cleaning Service, who instead of sending the regular maid sends substitute Ramona Thurgood. When Ramona is found strangled with a vacuum-cleaner cord in Shelley’s house, Jane thinks the killer could be someone in the neighborhood. 1989.

If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him: An Elizabeth MacPherson Novel by Sharyn McCrumb
RC 44478
Forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson helps her attorney brother, Bill, in a bigamy-murder case that echoes a long-ago arsenic poisoning in the defendant’s family. Meanwhile, Bill’s partner, A.P., defends a woman who killed her arrogant ex-husband and his new wife. 1995.

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
DB/RC 61372
Clare Fergusson, an ex-military pilot and the newly appointed Episcopal priest at St. Alban’s Church in an upstate New York village, discovers an abandoned infant on the church steps. After the baby’s mother is found murdered, Clare joins police chief Russ Van Alstyne in investigating the case. Strong language. 2002.

Letter from Home by Carolyn G. Hart
DB/RC 57369
Gretchen Gilman receives a letter that prompts a flood of memories about the murder of a friend’s mother. During World War II Gretchen, a thirteen-year-old cub reporter for the town paper, sought the truth and lost her innocence. Now, fifty years later, the truth finds her. 2003.

Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews
BR 13270
Meg is knocking herself out trying to be a bridesmaid for the weddings of her brother, mother, and best friend. As she tries to help her ditzy relatives prepare for their various outrageous festivities, one of the guests is murdered, old crimes are uncovered, and she falls in love. 1999.

Murphy’s Law: A Molly Murphy Mystery by Rhys Bowen
BR 14095
Ireland, 1901. Molly Murphy flees to New York City after killing a would-be rapist in her home village. She assumes an alias for passage aboard ship, but at Ellis Island she is once again accused of murder. Handsome NYPD captain Daniel Sullivan is willing to help her prove her innocence. 2001.

Naked Once More by Elizabeth Peters
RC 30513
The author of Naked in the Ice disappeared seven years ago and has been declared legally dead. Librarian-turned-writer Jacqueline Kirby wins a competition and is hired to write a sequel. But in Pine Grove, the original author’s home town, Jacqueline begins having accidents similar to those that befell the author before her disappearance. Some strong language. 1989.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
DB/RC 67808 BR 15352
Thirteen-year-old Maisie is lucky to be a maid in the home of a wealthy London suffragette who sees to her education. Maisie becomes a private investigator in 1929 after serving as a nurse during the Great War. Her first case involves a shelter for wounded veterans. 2003.

She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb
RC 40372
In the Tennessee hills, elderly escaped convict Harm Sorley, who cannot remember the past forty years, is trying to find his wife and baby. Like his uncle before him, Harm is becoming a folk hero, but newly appointed deputy Martha Ayers feels duty-bound to track him. Meanwhile, retracing the long-ago route a pioneer girl took to escape from Indians, a graduate student encounters her ghost. Strong language. 1994.

Something Wicked by Carolyn G. Hart
DB/RC 65923
Atlanta. Mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance, her fiancé Max, and the rest of the summer stock players know their production of Arsenic and Old Lace needs to be a hit so they can get their new theater. Instead it is plagued by sabotage and murder. Some strong language. 1988.

Storm Track by Margaret Maron
DB/RC 66003
North Carolina judge Deborah Knott helps detective Dwight Bryant investigate the murder of a Colleton County attorney’s promiscuous wife, who was found strangled in a room of a local motel. Meanwhile, a second killer, Hurricane Fran, is threatening the coast. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. 2000.

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
DB/RC 65648
National park ranger Anna Pigeon is patrolling the West Texas backcountry when she discovers the body of a colleague apparently killed by a mountain lion. A disbelieving Anna tracks a human killer as conflict erupts among park employees, hunters, ranchers, and conservationists. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1993.

Up Jumps the Devil by Margaret Maron
RC 45837
When a former neighbor is shot in broad daylight in his backyard, Judge Deborah Knott pays a condolence call on his widow. She hears the family’s version of the murder, but quickly finds out that the sheriff suspects others who have stronger motives. 1996.

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
DB/RC 64701
Small Plains, Kansas. Mitch Newquist—banished from his hometown for witnessing the cover-up of a young girl’s murder—returns when his mother dies. Together with his former girlfriend, Mitch searches for the killer and uncovers disturbing secrets of the town’s most prominent men. Strong language and some violence. 2006.

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Order Form

Mail to: Y. Rathan Raj
National Library Service for the
Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, DC 20542
Fax: (202) 707-0712

Your Name________________________________________________


____RC 67834     Birds of a Feather
____RC 31471     The Body in the Belfry
____RC 37825     Bootlegger’s Daughter
____RC 31491     Bum Steer
____RC 59695     Dating Dead Men
____RC 63926     Dead Man’s Island
____RC 69655     Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery
____RC 67293     A Fatal Grace
____RC 28547     A Great Deliverance
____RC 68692     Grime and Punishment: A Jane Jeffry Mystery
____RC 44478     If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him: An Elizabeth MacPherson Novel
____RC 61372     In the Bleak Midwinter
____RC 57369     Letter from Home
____RC 67808     Maisie Dobbs
____RC 30513     Naked Once More
____RC 40372     She Walks These Hills
____RC 65923     Something Wicked
____RC 66003     Storm Track
____RC 65648     Track of the Cat
____RC 45837     Up Jumps the Devil
____RC 64701     The Virgin of Small Plains


____DB 67834     Birds of a Feather
____DB 31471     The Body in the Belfry
____DB 61863     The Body in the Snowdrift
____DB 70226     The Brutal Telling
____DB 67419     The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery
____DB 59695     Dating Dead Men
____DB 63926     Dead Man’s Island
____DB 69655     Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery
____DB 67293     A Fatal Grace
____DB 68692     Grime and Punishment: A Jane Jeffry Mystery
____DB 61372     In the Bleak Midwinter
____DB 57369     Letter from Home
____DB 67808     Maisie Dobbs
____DB 65923     Something Wicked
____DB 66003     Storm Track
____DB 65648     Track of the Cat
____DB 64701     The Virgin of Small Plains


____BR 15546     Birds of a Feather
____BR 08222     Bum Steer
____BR 09684     Dead Man’s Island
____BR 13293     Death on a Silver Tray
____BR 15352     Maisie Dobbs
____BR 13270     Murder with Peacocks
____BR 14095     Murphy’s Law: A Molly Murphy Mystery

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Posted on 2011-09-07