THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
Thomas Purdue is killing time one lovely June morning, reading a medical journal 'til stores open and he can scope out a rare music box that his friend Schwartz spotted in a shop the afternoon before. Then Edna Reynolds calls: with the help of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, she has just killed Marcus Wilcox, a tinhorn interior designer who's been harassing her. Thomas, of course, rushes over to help his friend and patient.
After clearing up the immediate problem, Thomas goes off to see the music box . . . but the shopkeeper denies any knowledge of it. Thomas knows that if Schwartz said the music box was there, it was, but the shopkeeper is adamant.
Thomas's day gets worse and worse: he goes to a terrible antique show, then needs to attend to his pal Frank the Crank, who's been badly beaten up. When at last he goes back to his apartment . . . well, let's say there's a nasty surprise waiting for him.
As bodies begin to pile up, so do sightings of the music box Thomas never got to see. Finally, Edna - with the help of octogenarian music box dealer Sophie Soleski - decides to take matters in hand. Old friend Cleveland Gackle, lockpicker, comes to help; so does Henry (Jitters) Levitsky, a young man with an unusual but useful neurological disorder. Big Al Resford flies in from London to add his own particular area of expertise, and of course Broadway Schwartz is around to help figure what needs doing, and then do it. Even with all this help, Thomas finds himself in over his head and calls in his father, Dr. Will Purdue. But Thomas is sufficiently distracted that he misses the most important clue of all.
Read Chapter One of "The
Midnight Special" by Larry Karp.
What Others Are Saying...
"Karp's work deepens with each mystery. He has a genius for understanding that being a good guy can have as many costs as being a bad guy . . ."(Jack Cady, The American Writer).
". . . Karp's book makes music . . . this novel dazzles all the senses . . . a full-to-brimming combination of a British cozy, a hardboiled Chandler-esque P.I., and the madcap comic capers of Donald Westlake. The writing is vivid, punchy, and alive . . ."(Mark Terry, Fore Word).
"THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL could have been written by Damon Runyon himself, said remark being a very high compliment from yours truly. The characters . . . are worthy of a new version of Guys and Dolls. (Purdue) and his wife Sarah have an arrangement that might well be enjoyed by many of us if we had the gumption to use it."(Manya Nogg, I Love A Mystery).
". . . a creative, complex and entertaining mystery. (Karp) is a superb storyteller (as is Thomas!) with a special gift for characterizations, dialogue, and vivid descriptions that bring to life the personalities and situations in his mysteries."(Gretchen Geib, Guest Reviewer, Mysterious Galaxy)
"Karp's hilaious caper novels belong right up there with Donald Westlake's. Weird, lovable characters, a richly comic situation . . ."(Jeanne M. Dams, Agatha Award-winning author of the Dorothy Martin and Hilda Johansson mysteries)
"Punchy prose and a layered plot characterize this New York city romp."(Publishers Weekly)