First, Do No Harm
The Midnight Special
Scamming the Birdman
The Music Box Murders
The Enchanted Ear
The View from the Vue

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Larry Karp is currently being published by Poisoned Pen Press

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It's 1951.  Brun Campbell, the old Ragtime Kid, wants to get his hands on a journal written by Scott Joplin, then use it to persuade the citizens of Sedalia to construct a ragtime museum in Joplin's honor.  But two die-hard Klansmen who are planning to blow up a local Black high school also want the valuable book.  It falls to 17-year-old ragtime pianist Alan Chandler to frustrate the Klan plot, and get the journal to Brun.


This historical mystery is the latest novel from Larry Karp.  It is the third and concluding novel in the Ragtime Historical Mystery Trilogy and was released by Poisoned Pen Press in April, 2010.


Read the opening scenes of "The Ragtime Fool" by Larry Karp.


What Others Are Saying...

American obsessions with race and glory dominate Karp's lively conclusion, set in 1951, to his Ragtime trilogy (after 2008's The King of Ragtime).  Decades earlier, Brun Campbell was ragtime genius Scott Joplin's only white pupil.  Now an elderly barber in Venice, Calif., Brun frantically publicizes Joplin, ragtime, and himself.  In Hobart, N.J., Alan Chandler, a 17-year-old piano student, has fallen in love with ragtime music.  Both Brun and Alan are excited to hear that a journal Joplin kept may soon be published.  In Sedalia, Mo., Joplin's home for many years, diehard Klansmen are plotting to bomb an interracial ceremony honoring the composer.  Brun and Alan race to Sedalia, where they find themselves caught in a confused swirl of various characters who want to steal the valuable journal--or stop its publication.  Karp handles the intricate plot well, but the best part of the book is its picture of people torn between what they want to forget and what they need to remember (Apr.)

Publishers Weekly, January 25, 2010


...The third Ragtime historical tale is a superb thriller with a seeming cast of thousands, deftly played like a maestro by Larry Karp...The deep look at racial relations and divisions during the end of the Truman era, as well as how those who knew Joplin prefer to pick and choose their history...makes for a strong character driven mid twentieth century thriller.

Harriet Klausner, genregoround, February 11, 2010


...As usual, Karp populates his book with nearly as many historical characters as fictional ones, many of whom will be familiar to readers who enjoyed the earlier books. Ragtime remains central to the series, both in terms of its ambience and its plots, making the trilogy a must recommendation to fans of jazz and American roots music.


Scott Joplin died on April Fool's Day, 1917, but his legacy blazes brightly within Brun Campbell, once known as The Ragtime Kid and working, 34 years later, as a barber in Venice, Calif. A fan letter from Alan Chandler, an aspiring young musician in New Jersey, leads to a mutually satisfying correspondence as well as a parallel plotline...In the final volume of his Ragtime trilogy (The King of Ragtime, 2008, etc.), Karp seamlessly weaves real people like Campbell into an interesting historical yarn with a whodunit kicker.


In The Ragtime Fool...historical and imagined characters try to resolve a half-century of loose ends, but reality always intrudes when an American art form, its creators, and the public crisscross color and culture lines. These books offer stories for enjoyment; they may also cause you to read the documented histories, and then listen to the music – where more mysteries reside.

     David Reffkin, Director, The American Ragtime Ensemble

Larry Karp, with his novelist's eye for plot and character and his historian's respect for time and place, again applies his practiced skills as a veteran writer of mysteries. Together with his leading man The Ragtime Fool, they promise to keep you turning the pages well past midnight.
     Max Morath, “The Ragtime Man,”entertainer and spokesman for American music and history



Author:  Larry Karp
Hardback: 314 pages

Publication date: 4/1/2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-699-0


Trade Paperback: 314 pages

Publication date: 4/1/2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-716-4


Large Type Trade Paperback: 440 pages

Publication date: 4/1/2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-700-3


Soon available as an audiobook (CD, Cassette Tape and MP3) from Blackstone Audio .

Also as an e-book for the Kindle.

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All of Larry Karp's books can be found at Seattle Mystery Bookshop!All of Larry Karp's books (including autographed copies AND books that have gone out of print) can be found here: