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The Ragtime Kid: A Ragtime Mystery (Ragtime Trilogy #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  128 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Brun Campbell, a 15-year-old piano fool, gets to play Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" one 1898 afternoon in Oklahoma City. It's destiny calling. Though he tries for ragtime lessons, he's told no--"Ragtime is colored music" So Brun runs away from the family home in El Reno, Oklahoma, to Sedalia, Missouri, to persuade Joplin to take him on as a pupil. What Brun doesn't expec ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 573 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Dec 06, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining book....good storyline. Held my attention from beginning to end. Music lovers should enjoy this one.
Jul 08, 2015 Degeorgetown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book

I really loved this book. The author did a great job with the historical setting and details. Brun was likeable but frustratingly unlikable at the same time. He reminded me of Huck Finn.

Most of my complaints are so minor they aren't worth mentioning, except the ending which I had to knock a star off for. Wtf was up with that ending? The clingy church girl suddenly becomes a self-mutilating psycho who threatens to cry rape if Brun doesn't repent and leave town (she's 13 btw.) Could the
Dec 14, 2013 Miles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-ebooks
Larry Karp did a good job researching for this book. While the plot is fiction the characters are real. Because I grew up in southern California as an early 'Baby Boomer' I was not exposed to racial discrimination like the people in the book. I learned all the slurs although I mostly refrained from speaking in generalizations. Some of the behavior that takes place in this book would not be tolerated today, most places. I am not a fan of 'Ragtime' music, however I learned a few things I didn't kn ...more
May 13, 2012 Beverly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, history
The ragtime background and history kept me reading this book. The writing did not. If the rule of writing is "show, don't tell," this author hadn't heard it. Long explanatory sections slowed down the story telling. I'm going to try a sample of the next of the trilogy, hoping that the writing will improve. That said, the author did what I wish every author of this type of work would do--at the end he told who was real, who was not, and what happened to them. Thanks, Larry Karp.
Irma Walter
Aug 19, 2014 Irma Walter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sure an interesting introduction into a time and place I used to know nothing about. Pretty credibly crafted story around facts and figures. It sounds pretty unbelievable today that music sheets would be a highly coveted business, but it's easy to forget that everything was live entertainment then and there was no reproduced music.
May 21, 2010 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love ragtime music, and find the lives of the ragtime composers very interesting. This is the first of a trilogy using Scott Joplin, Brun Campbell, Joe Lamb, Tom Turpin and other real people but fictionalized into mystery stories.
The writing isn't great, but it's good enough, and it's very intricately plotted and thoroughly researched. It keeps you turning the pages, and was quite enjoyable.
Brun Campbell runs away to Sedalia, MO, in 1899 to take piano lessons from Scott Joplin. Sedalia is deeply divided on racial lines, and he's a white kid venturing into an African American neighborhood. When he finds evidence to a murder, he's afraid to go to the law--he is a runaway--but he knows the man they have jailed is innocent.
Patricia Miguela Alpay
Having little background on ragtime music, i find this book very interesting. I thought the characters were purely fictional, except for Scott Joplin of course.

Its a great read--its about a period in music history where the music of the colored people are neglected and unacknowleged. Galing! Now imma gon to do some more research about this period in music.
Jun 16, 2014 Yvonna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book rambled enough that I found it extremely difficult to continue reading after the second chapter. I struggled to finish as I do not like to leave anything uncompleted. What seems to be accurate research the author did to write this book was the only thing that kept me from giving it a 1-star rating.
Caroline Mateo
Mar 19, 2015 Caroline Mateo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives one deeper insight as to the social attitudes of that era not only for the African Americans, but also for the whites.

I enjoyed the story immensely because I am learning to play Scott Joplin's music now. Although it's a little difficult for me to play, this story has given me encouragement to continue.
Dec 15, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2012
It took me almost a month to finish this. The mystery somehow got bogged down in Brun Campbell's explanations and opinions. The characters for the most part are real people and Sedalia, Kansas was indeed the birthplace of Ragtime. The writer needs to hone his writing skill. I don't think I have the patience to tackle the other two installments of the trilogy.
Kathryn Cook
Oct 01, 2016 Kathryn Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feet Tapping And Skirts Swinging

Although the plot bends like a river, and slows in curving seams, the story builds to an amazing crescendo. Remarkably well researched and accurate. The story lines is quite a tale of ragtime music and dismal racism.
Mar 26, 2013 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-free
An enjoyable historical mystery. Some unexpected twists, but most of the information was available to the reader. The story is good enough to make me willing to forgive the little bit that was hidden.
Jeny Robertson
Nov 04, 2012 Jeny Robertson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the characters in this book. I loved the history in this book. I did not like the style of writing however. It took me a really long time to finish this book because of that. I got so bored with how long winded the author was. Gla to be done with it.
Gayle Kee
Jan 14, 2014 Gayle Kee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a mystery but I guess most of it was true as well. A good book
Shawana M. Turner
Good read

I choose this rating, because it kept my interest, and it provided a little history. Enjoy the book. Again a good read.
dorothy broome
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Larry Karp practiced perinatal medicine and wrote general nonfiction before turning his back on medical work to write mystery novels full-time. The backgrounds and settings of Larry's mysteries reflect many of his interests, including musical antiques, medical-ethical issues, and ragtime music. His current book, The King of Ragtime, the second work in a ragtime mystery trilogy, centers on a real-l ...more
More about Larry Karp...

Other Books in the Series

Ragtime Trilogy (3 books)
  • The King of Ragtime
  • The Ragtime Fool: A Ragtime Mystery

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