Spotlight on Texas Audio Books
January 2000

Internal Links


Spanish Fiction

Spanish Nonfiction


Related Links
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
Voyager formally Web-BLND

Spotlight on Texas is a quarterly cassette publication announcing the latest audio books produced by volunteers at the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio in Austin and at the Recording Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Midland. The audio version of "Spotlight on Texas" is distributed on request to Texans with disabilities who are registered to receive the Talking Book Program's free library service.

Since 1978, Talking Book volunteers have recorded thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles by Texas authors or about the history, culture, folklore, and people of the Lone Star state. Titles recorded include biographies, histories, westerns, romances, mysteries, self-help, travel, and children's books. More than 10 new books are completed each month, including some in Spanish. In addition, volunteers record three Texas magazines: Texas Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Texas Highways.

If you would like to receive an audio cassette copy of "Spotlight on Texas" each quarter, please contact the Talking Book Program through the phone numbers, e-mail address, postal address, or fax number listed at the bottom of this page.

To order any of the books listed below, note the titles and CT book numbers you would like to request. Then call a Reader Consultant toll-free in Texas at 1-800-252-9605 or, in Austin, at 512-463-5458. A voicemail message service is available after hours and on weekends for you to leave book requests or other messages. Say your full name and patron number (if known) clearly when leaving messages and give the CT book number and title for each request. Book orders may also be sent in an e-mail message to:

Following the list of titles recently recorded by our volunteers, we also feature in this issue a section on mysteries recorded in years past. We are pleased to provide this reminder to you that these mystery books are available.

Note the titles and book numbers you would like to request, then call us at any time with your order.

return to top


Bad Chili
CT 6423

by Joe R. Lansdale, Narrated by Dick Collins, 2 cassettes
A leather-jacketed, hog-riding biker is dead. Leonard Pine is the suspect. To help his partner in the case of one murdered lowlife, Hap Collins won't be bending the law, he'll be stomping the heck out of it. Spicing the mix will be LaBorde's own Chili King, a woman in white with a dark past, an actual tornado, several dead bodies in unwelcome places, and an unpleasant experience involving blocks of ice and car batteries. Not to mention the matter of one rabid squirrel. This book contains: Heavy Sex, Violence, Profanity.

Bonita Faye
CT 6419

by Margaret Moseley; Narrated by Linda Fox, 2 cassettes
"It was only a little murder. He wasn't even an important man. And it happened so long ago. If anyone shoulda been shocked, it shoulda been me. After all, I was married to him." Bonita Faye tells all - from the night Billy Roy was killed to the day she leaves Poteau behind and follows her dreams to Paris, France. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity

Deadly Legacy
CT 6418

by Dee Stuart, Narrated by Therese East, 2 cassettes
For visiting American veterinarian Barbara Benton, Hong Kong is a world of exotic sights and sensations. But when her friend Lily vanishes, Barbara finds that her own inescapable past becomes the key to her friend's disappearance and her own survival. To someone desperate and evil, it is a legacy worth untold millions.

CT 6422

by Sally Chapman, Narrated by Sonya Roden, 2 cassettes When Margo Miller, a NASA public relations specialist appears at Data9000 to hire amateur sleuth Julie Blake and her partner Vic Paoli, the two investigators leap at the chance to solve an easy case and meet real astronauts at the same time. But what looks to be a straightforward case of computer hacking turns into a serious matter of life and death. If Julie and Vic can't find the person who's discovered a way into the computer system at Mission Control, the lives of the astronauts will be endangered. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity

High Island Blues
CT 6244

by Ann Cleeves, Narrated by Paul Klemperer, 2 cassettes
Among the bird-watching enthusiasts from around the world who have gathered on the Texas coast to observe the spectacular spring bird migration are three old friends from England - Rob, Mick and Oliver. The three are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their first unforgettable trip to High Island. But the party's over when Mick - the introvert who surprisingly got the girl they all wanted years ago - is murdered. The police think Rob did it but English investigator George Palmer-Jones, called in by Rob's employer to help him, has other ideas.

In Search Of Satisfaction
CT 6241

by J. California Cooper, Narrated by Julie Shuey, 2 cassettes This family saga unfolds in Yoville, a small town whose history is interwoven with the lives of Josephus, a newly freed slave and his two daughters, Ruth and Yinyang. The author creates an old-fashioned morality tale in which the wicked and the righteous each reap their just rewards in their individual searches for satisfaction. This book contains: Profanity

Lone Star Swing: On The Trail Of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys
CT 6403

by Duncan McLean, Narrated by Ev Lunning, 2 cassettes
Duncan McLean traveled from his home in Scotland to try to capture the essence of Texas Swing - once an incredibly popular but now largely forgotten mix of jazz, blues, mariachi, and country music. As he traveled through the Lone Star State from his starting point of Turkey, Texas, the hometown of Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, McLean also marveled at the singular wonders of Texas itself. He had to learn to drive expressly for this trip but he was determined to experience the one place on earth where he could "see" western swing as it should be seen. This book contains: Profanity

Mistletoe From Purple Sage
CT 6424

by Barbara Burnett Smith, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard, 2 cassettes
Jolie Wyatt, aspiring mystery writer from Purple Sage, Texas, is once again in the wrong place at the wrong time. Between Christmas activities and spending time with her family, Jolie has promised to attend an anniversary party for her former employer, Rose Sterling Advertising. But when an employee turns up dead in the company bathroom during the party, Jolie gets wrapped up in the case. This book contains: Profanity

Murder At The God's Gate
CT 6412

by Lynda S. Robinson, Narrated by Janice Langlinais, 2 cassettes
The young pharaoh Tutankhamun is beset by problems - a crumbling empire, invaders at the gates, and unrest within his court. Pharaoh's adviser, Lord Meren, suspects a conspiracy and uses ingenious investigative methods to uncover a plot that threatens the Egyptian empire. Sequel to "Murder in the Place of Anubis" (BR 10186). This book contains: Violence

Murder Takes a Break
CT 6426
by Bill Crider, Narrated by Jack Gazzale, 2 cassettes
Truman Smith, reluctant Galveston P.I. would rather read Faulkner or O'Hara and drink Big Red than just about anything else, especially a missing person case. Randall Kirbo disappeared during spring break. As far as the police are concerned, the kid had just decided to take off. His parents don't agree and Smith has some questions of his own. When the body of a young woman is found, it becomes clear to Truman that Randall is in serious trouble - if he's still alive. This book contains: Violence, Profanity

Run With the Horses
CT 6421
by Joan Stocks Nobles, Narrated by Dorothy Blair, 1 cassette
Set in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, this is a grand adventure tale full of bandits, horse thieves, cavalry and Indians. It's a tale of kidnapping and violence and suspense, and of one remarkably brave and clever woman. This is a story set along the border between Texas and Mexico in the post-Civil War days.This book contains: Violence, Profanity

There Was a Little Girl
CT 6425

by Susan Rogers Cooper, Narrated by Linda Fox, 2 cassettes
Romance novelist, harried mom, and sometime sleuth, E.J. Pugh has a a habit of being in the wrong place at the right time. This time she's on hand to pull a suicidal teenager from a freezing Texas River. The distraught young girl, Brenna, has good reasons for wanting to end it all, since she comes from the worst horror of a family since Charles Manson's. Then comes the news that makes E.J.'s blood run cold: the girl's mother has been murdered, and Brenna stands accused of the crime. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity


The Big Bend: A History of The Last Texas Frontier
CT 6142

by Ron C. Tyler, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard, 2 cassettes
This book, originally published in 1975 by the National Park Service, covers four centuries of human society in the Big Bend. Archaeological evidence of Indian inhabitants provides clues to their unwritten history in the region but the Spanish explorers found no living trace of them and called the land "el despoblado," the uninhabited land. In the centuries that followed, U.S. Army mapping and surveying teams came to the Big Bend. A colorful array of miners, ranchers, and even bandits sought freedom and livelihoods in its remote canyons. The author devotes a full chapter to the creation of the Big Bend National Park which was finally dedicated in 1955, after years of efforts by Texans who were determined to preserve this great wonder of the American Southwest.

Cotton Bowl Days: Growing Up With Dallas And The Cowboys In The 1960s
CT 6401
by John Eisenberg, Narrated by Jack Huff, 3 cassettes
For a young boy growing up in Dallas in the 1960s, the Cowboys football team was a source of excitement and pride - even though the team was still years away from the celebrity of the Super Bowl era. Author John Eisenberg, a third-generation Dallasite and life-long Cowboys fan, presents a nostalgic look at growing up with his city as it tried to cast off the dark shadow of the Kennedy assassination and with his team, a magnet for civic pride even in defeat.

Dan Stuart's Fistic Carnival
CT 5773

by Leo N. Miletich, Narrated by Jack Gazzale, 2 cassettes
One hundred years ago, there was a boxing promoter who made society's hair stand on end. In 1895, Dallas gambler Dan Stuart had an idea: promote a boxing carnival featuring a world heavyweight championship bout between Gentleman Jim Corbett and Fighting Bob Fitzsimmons. This idea led to the outrage of four governors, two presidents, and Congress; militias and Texas Rangers being called out; closing of the Mexican border; and fiery sermons.

Legends And Lies: Great Mysteries of The American West
CT 6391

Dale L. Walker, Narrated by Tom Naughton, 2 cassettes
El Paso author Dale L. Walker takes aim at American historical myths and, through careful research, sets out to write the truth about stories that have become part of the lore of the Old West. He has chosen a dozen of the biggest enigmas, including Davy Crockett's fate at the Alamo, the men who claimed to be Billy the Kid and Jesse James, the unexplained death of explorer Meriwether Lewis, and the legendary treasure in Arizona's Superstition Mountains.

Swedish Texans
CT 5866

by Larry E. Scott, Narrated by Susan Britt, 2 cassettes
In the years between 1838 and 1918, some 5,000 Swedes left their homeland and immigrated to the plains and cities of Texas. The author uses the stories of individuals and families, their letters to friends and relatives back home, and Swedish-Texan newspapers and books to discover how Swedes adapted to the land and fused their customs with those of the New World.

Tales Old T. R. Told
CT 6417

by T.R. Stephenson, Narrated by T. R. Stephenson, 1 cassette
Short tales relating to Texas told in verse form. The author is a cowboy poet and sixth generation Texan.

Texas City Disaster, 1947
CT 6398

by Hugh W. Stephens, Narrated by Nancy VanHemert, 2 cassettes
One of America's worst industrial accidents in terms of casualties occurred at Texas City, Texas when two docked merchant ships loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded sixteen hours apart on April 16 and 17, 1947. The author describes the heroic efforts of Southeast Texans to rescue survivors and cope with extensive property damage. He also explores why the disaster happened, showing how a chain of indifference and negligence made a serious accident nearly inevitable, while a lack of emergency planning allowed it to escalate into a catastrophe.

Treasure Hunt: A New York Times Reporter Tracks The Quedlinburg Hoard
CT 6402

by Honan, William H. Narrated by Harold Steadman 2 cassettes
This true story has elements of a good mystery novel as well as intriguing art history. New York Times reporter William Honan describes how he first became interested in the missing Quedlinburg treasures - priceless medieval manuscripts and reliquaries - which disappeared from Nazi Germany in the final days of World War II. It had long been assumed that the collection had been stolen by an American soldier or soldiers since U.S. troops were occupying Quedlinburg at the time. Honan tracks the treasures to a small Texas town and unravels the mystery of how they got there. This book contains: Profanity

Spanish FictionSpanish Fiction

Un Baile de Máscaras
CT 6378

by Sergio Ramírez, Narrated by Valeria Werner, 2 cassettes
August 5, 1942. One day in the life of a small Nicaraguan town is chronicled, as two feuding families and a parade of eccentric characters prepare to celebrate the birthday of a local socialite with a masked ball. A humorous tribute to the foibles of village life. This book contains: Some Sex

CT 6380

by Carmen Boullosa, Narrated by Valeria Werner, 1 cassette
One of Mexico's best-known female authors recreates the world of colonial Mexico, where ancient religious beliefs persisted under Spanish rule, in a suspenseful adventure story infused with historical fact.

Revolución es un Sueño Eterno
CT 6377

by Andrés Rivera, Narrated by Dr. Juan Lujan, 1 cassette
Winner of Argentina's Premio Nacional de la Literatura in 1992, this novel re-imagines the life of a true military hero of Argentina's Revolutionary War against Spain in 1810. In real life, Juan Jose Castelli died in poverty and disgrace but fate is kinder in fiction. This book contains: Violence

Spanish Nonfiction

Aplauso del Cielo
CT 6385

by Max Lucado, Narrated by Marisol Brown, 1 cassette
Author of a number of Christian devotional works, Max Lucado invites readers of this book to find a joy that cannot be quenched, a peace that cannot be taken away, and a happiness that cannot be threatened. He believes that the Beatitudes provide all the guidance that people need in order to discover the joy of God.

To order any of these titles, call 1-800-252-9605 or, in Austin, 512-463-5458.

Spotlight on Mysteries

Thousands of additional titles recorded in Texas are available from the Talking Book Program. Ask a Reader Consultant to recommend other Texas titles and authors or have Texas titles added to your reading list through our automatic selection program. A world of Texas books is just a phone call or e-mail message away.

Among the titles available, you may want to consider ordering these previously recorded mystery titles:

Armadillos and Old Lace
CT 5780

by Friedman, Kinky Narrated by John Cagle 1 cassette
Set in central Texas, this mystery involves 76-year-old ladies who are dying inexplicably on their birthdays. Undaunted by the thought of running up against the toughest lady sheriff in Texas, Kinky Friedman, on a visit home from New York City, does his best to solve the case. Several bunches of yellow roses and a faded photograph of ten pretty girls turn out to be just the clues he needs. This book contains: Profanity

Biggie And The Poisoned Politician
CT 6307
by Nancy Bell, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard 1 cassette
Biggie Weatherford, an eccentric and wealthy grandmother from the tiny East Texas town of Job's Crossing, takes on city hall to halt a proposed garbage dump next to her ancestral graveyard, only to turn detective to solve the poisoning murder of the local mayor. This book contains: Violence

Blessed Are The Merciless: A Reverend Lucas Holt Mystery
CT 6077

by Charles Meyer, Narrated by Janice Lathin 2 cassettes
Reverend Holt is distressed by the number of elderly parishioners who have recently died alone, in pain, and uncared for, even though many of them have grown children. Somebody else seems to agree quite strongly, because suddenly a series of murders takes place. All of the victims are in their thirties and forties, and all have placed their parents in nursing homes. This book contains: Profanity

The Day That Dusty Died
CT 5818

by Lee Martin, Narrated by Janice Lathin 2 cassettes
For no apparent reason, pretty teenager Dusty Miller hurls herself from a 14th floor balcony. The unsolved case is just one of the nettlesome problems facing Fort Worth police detective Deb Ralston. (Her sister and husband are two others). In the course of solving Dusty's "suicide," author Martin comments with biting humor on life's frustrations. This book contains: Heavy Sex. Profanity

Death At Daisy's Folly
CT 6332

by Robin Paige, Narrated by Carol Esler 2 cassettes
Two murders during a weekend party at the Countess of Warwick's estate compel the most prominent guest, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, to call upon the sleuthing skills of Sir Charles Sheridan and his sweetheart, Kate Ardleigh, the spirited American who writes the popular yet frowned-upon "penny dreadful" novels. Together, Sir Charles and Kate must solve the crimes to prevent scandal from touching His Royal Highness, the future King Edward VII. Robin Paige is the pen name of William and Susan Wittig Albert.

Death by Dressage
CT 5555

by Carolyn Banks, Narrated by Mary Jane Prall 1 cassette
When fellow horsewoman Nika Ballinger suffers a violent death that appears to be murder, and the police can find no easy answers, Texas equestrienne Robin Vaughn does a bit of sleuthing on her own. As she mounts her own investigation and begins rummaging through Nika's untidy past, Robin uncovers a bizarre double life that someone might have killed to keep secret. This book contains: Violence

Man Offside
CT 5542

by A.W. Gray, Narrated by Ev Lunning 2 cassettes
Rick Bannion is a former Dallas Cowboys football player whose only things left over from his glory days are his Corvette and his love for the wife of his former teammate, Jack Brendy. When Jack gets caught smuggling drugs and then is murdered, Rick finds himself forced to make his way in the seedy, tough streets of Dallas. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity

Partners In Crime: A Rafe Buenrostro Mystery
CT 5589

by Rolando Hinojosa, Narrated by Therese East 2 cassettes
This addition to the Klail City Death Trip series is a murder mystery, complete with shrewd detectives, naive disciples, and the misreading of genuine clues. Hinojosa's sleuths are Lt. Rafe Buenrostro of the Belken County (Texas) Homicide Squad, and Capt. Lisandro Gomez of Tamaulipas, Mexico. This book contains: Profanity

Thyme of Death: A Mystery Introducing China Bayles
CT 5731

by Susan Wittig Albert, Narrated by Janice Lathin 2 cassettes
When ex-lawyer China Bayles left her job at a law firm in Houston to open an herb shop in Pecan Springs, Texas, she had hoped to leave big city problems behind her. But even a small town has its share of problems -- including murder. When her friend Jo is found dead from an apparent suicide, China looks behind Pecan Springs' quaint facade and finds that one of her new neighbors may be a killer. This book contains: Profanity

Writers of the Purple Sage
CT 5896

by Barbara Burnett Smith, Narrated by Therese East 2 cassettes
When the respected judge of Purple Sage, Texas is murdered using the exact method outlined in her novel-in-progress, aspiring mystery writer Jolie Wyatt quickly finds suspicions turning her way. The fact that she, a relative newcomer to town, has had a recent run-in with the judge doesn't help. Eager to deflect suspicion from herself, Jolie begins to investigate on her own, focusing reluctantly on the members of her writing group and the assistant chief of police, all of whom had access to her manuscript -- and the unusual murder method described within. In the process, she uncovers many small town secrets and finds more than a few people with reason to kill the judge -- and maybe herself as well. This book contains: Profanity


More Texas Titles Thousands of additional titles recorded in Texas are available from the Talking Book Program. Ask a Reader Consultant to recommend other Texas titles and authors or have Texas titles added to your reading list through our automatic selection program. A world of Texas books is just a phone call or e-mail message away.

As with all of the books in our collection, there is no time limit for ordering any of these books. Feel free to ask for these titles at any time-now or in the future.

The Texas volunteers welcome your comments and suggestions. Send an e-mail message to the Volunteer Recording Studio at or write to us at Volunteer Recording Studio, Talking Book Program, PO Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711-2927. If you live in the Austin area and are interested in volunteering to record books, please call 463-5546 for more information. More information about volunteering is available on the web page of the Friends of the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio.

Talking Book Program, Austin, TX, January 2000.

Talking Book Program
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)
512-463-5458 (in Austin)
512-936-0685 (fax)

Page last modified: August 30, 2011