The Ragtime Kid

Front Cover, 2009 - Fiction - 596 pages
1 Review
Brun Campbell, a 15-year-old piano-playing fool, hears Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag played one 1898 afternoon in Oklahoma City. It's destiny calling. Asking for ragtime lessons, he's told, No, Ragtime is colored music. So Brun runs away from the family farm to Sedalia, Missouri, to persuade Joplin to take him on as a pupil. What Brun doesn't expect is to trip over the body of a young woman. He thoughtlessly picks up a couple of items before he rushes away from the murder scene. When Edward Fitzgerald, a man who befriended Brun his first night in town, is arrested for the woman's murder, Brun is certain he's innocent. But if the boy shows anyone the things he pocketed at the scene - things he now knows belonged to Scott Joplin - he'll point the finger at the composer ... and himself. Brun decides to get Fitzgerald, Joplin, and himself off the hook by finding the real killer, but for that he eventually needs some help from Dr. Overstreet, the alcoholic town mayor; and John Stark, a man pushing sixty, who's been employing Brun at his music store. Sedalia is rife with suspects, some of them opportunists bent on stealing Joplin's music. And then there are the girls and women - mysteries to Brun - like a teenager seized with religious fever, a couple of mischievous prostitutes, and an attractive, ambitious young woman with a hint of scarlet in her past, who further complicate his pursuit of the killer.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages


Oklahoma City August 1898
Sedalia Missouri June 1899
At the end of the war yes
El Reno Oklahoma Sunday July 16 1899
Sedalia Wednesday July 19 1899
Sedalia Friday July 21 1899 afternoon
Sedalia Friday July 21 1899
Sedalia Saturday July 22 1899 afternoon
Sedalia Friday July 28 1899
Sedalia Suturday July 29 1899
Sedalia Monday July 31 1899
Sedalia Monday July 31 1899 evening
Sedalia Wednesday August 2 1899
Sedalia Thursday August 3 1899
Seattle Washing February 2006
Front Cover Flap

Sedalia Sunday July 23 1899
Sedalia Monday July 24 1899
Sedalia Tuesday July 25 1899
Back Cover Flap

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Larry Karp's first published mystery fiction was a serial called Richard Richard, Private Dick, which appeared in a neighborhood newspaper Larry wrote, printed, and distributed when he was eight Larry has also written long and short nonfiction, practiced perinatal medicine, and restored and collected antique music boxes. Larry says he's a New Yorker, though he and his wife have lived in Seattle for thirty years and counting. They have two grown children.

Bibliographic information