"What in the hell is going on? Am I dreaming?"
Clearly something unexpected is going on for Chandler in the fourth and final Ragtime Mystery by father and son Larry Karp and Casey Karp. A longtime friend Mickey Potash phones Chandler, top ragtime performer and national expert on Joplin, to say that a duffel filled with Joplin's handwritten music has surfaced. Chandler and his grandson, Tom, race from Seattle to Sedalia to evaluate what may be the most important find in popular American music. Potash shows them initial pages which look authentic, but before they can get the duffel hidden in a padlocked closet, he is tortured and murdered. The duffel is stolen.
Disappointment encourages a resurgence of symptoms in Chandler's Stage 4 cancer. He's determined to validate the music before time runs out. Tom, and later his wife, Miriam, help him. Another murder complicates their investigation. The trail to the duffel is crowded: Jackson and Saramae, two young people with journalism in their blood, want to solve the crime, as do homicide detectives and antique shopkeepers. Not surprisingly, the roots of the lost music lie in past emotional conflict, now tangled in genealogical warfare.
Larry Karp, Casey's father, has written long and short nonfiction, restored and collected antique music boxes, and practiced perinatal medicine. He left medical work in 1994 to write mystery novels full-time. The RagTime Traveler
is the fourth book of an historical-mystery series, following The Ragtime Kid
, The King of Ragtime
, and The Ragtime Fool
. A self-described New Yorker, Larry and his wife Myra have lived in Seattle for 46 years. They have two grown children and one grandchild.
Casey Karp has been a librarian and a software quality engineer. He has been writing full-time since 2013. The RagTime Traveler is his first novel. An immigrant Californian, Casey and his wife, Maggie, have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than two decades. They are owned by an ever-increasing herd of cats.