Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Larry Karp's Latest gets a Killer Review

a great review via http://www.killerbooks.org/


This month's Killer Books

Recommended by members of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA)
Who better to pick the best mystery books of the month than the people who run mystery bookstores?
Each month, the 40-odd quirky stores that make up IMBA submit their favorite recent reads to a rotating editor who then trims the list to five.
Most are recent publications but sometimes something we missed the first time around sneaks in.
Every selection is a gem that otherwise might have been lost among the more than 100 mysteries published each month.


recommended by Bill Farley, Seattle Mystery Bookstore, Seattle, WA

(April, $24.95) In this, the concluding volume of Karp's ragtime trilogy, it's 1951. Scott Joplin (The King of Ragtime, vol. 2) is long dead, but ragtime music is making a comeback. Brun Campbell (The Ragtime Kid, vol. 1) is now an old man, still obsessed with Joplin's music. A ceremony is being planned in Sedalia, MO, where Joplin got his start, but the plans are far too humble, in Campbell's estimation. He learns there may be a journal, kept by Joplin during his time in Sedalia that Brun hopes to use to spur interest in a full-blown museum of ragtime in the town.

As with the two earlier books, there's a murder mystery involved here. This time the author uses a clever device of giving Brun a neighbor who's a science fiction author to speculate on possible solutions to the crime. But this story turns into a genuine thriller, too, as the journal becomes sought not just by Campbell, but by Joplin's daughter (or is she?), former musician friends, the Ku Klux Klan, and a teenager from New Jersey. (I don't think I'm forgetting anybody.) Some of them want to promote the journal, and some want to bury it. Some will literally kill for it.

Once again, Larry Karp presents an authentic view of the time period, when in many parts of our country bigotry was as commonplace and blatant in the 1950's as in 1916 (King) or the turn of the 20th Century (Kid). In the process he can't resist a couple of real gotchas. You'll know them when you see them.

If you haven't read the first two, start with them, then enjoy The Ragtime Fool.


Larry Karp will be at The Poisoned Pen in June along with author Simon Wood, as well as doing a solo appearance in Glendale at The Velma Teague library. Check www.poisonedpen.com/event-calendar for details.

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