Scamming The Birdman CoverScamming The Birdman Paperback Cover

First, Do No Harm
The Midnight Special
Scamming the Birdman
The Music Box Murders
The Enchanted Ear
The View from the Vue

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for more information on each of Larry Karp's books. 

Larry Karp is currently being published by Poisoned Pen Press

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Life's been routine for Thomas Purdue since he and his friends solved THE MUSIC BOX MURDERS last Christmas. It's the following summer now, a steamy August in New York, and Thomas's friend Hugh Curtis has just burst in with the appalling news that someone ripped off his world-class collection of musical snuffboxes. Not just any someone, either: the thief was Vincent LoPriore, a very nasty, intimidating man who happens to be an ardent collector of elegant antique singing mechanical birds. Not only that: LoPriore enlisted the aid of Hugh's wife Maddy to make off with the collection and all proof of Hugh's ownership. Worst of all, Maddy is now in the Manhattan Medical Emergency Room, with nine toes in the grave.

Lost collection, lost wife...Hugh Curtis has no recourse. Or does he? Thomas has an idea. With the help of old friends Broadway Schwartz, Big Al Resford, and Frank the Crank, he sets out to set matters straight. It's a big job, though, and some new players enter the picture. There's Edna Reynolds, the Doll Lady, expert makeup artist; Cleveland Gackle, lockpicker extraordinaire; Mick the Dick and Soapy Sandy McFarlane, husband- and-wife strongarm and pickpocket team; Mr. Espinoza, (Nozey to his friends), sartorial rainbow and Yiddish-spouting Puerto Rican owner of a conveniently-placed hotel; Fenton Dassidario who loves his electronic surveillance apparatus as much as he fears infectious microorganisms.

And then there's Vincent LoPriore, the Birdman. "What Vincent LoPriore wants," he growled at Hugh Curtis, "Vincent LoPriore gets." What Vincent is in line to get from the Purdue Gang, though, shouldn't happen to a dog...but then, Vincent LoPriore is meaner and more dangerous than any pit bull. Just hope he doesn't catch on.


Read Chapter One of "Scamming the Birdman" by Larry Karp.


What Others Are Saying...

" . . . Witty dialogue, hair-trigger plotting and an ending that will set you right back on your heels . . ." (Melinda Bargreen, Music Critic/Reviewer, the Seattle Times).

"We just loved the first book, and we loved this one even more." (Norma Frank, Mystery Books, Bryn Mawr, PA, in Booksellers' Best Bets, Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, Summer 2000).

"If . . . you're a sucker for the caper novel, you may want to peruse Larry Karp's SCAMMING THE BIRDMAN . . . his ending is one that's worthy of Westlake and then some." (Dick Lochte, The Los Angeles Times).

" . . . clever and hilarious scam . . . the reader will have a whale of a good time with this complex plot." (Florence Gilkeson, The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC).

"SCAMMING THE BIRDMAN is extraordinary . . . a rousing escapade with . . . eccentric, hilarious characters . . . an incredible caper with a surprising twist." (Brenda Weeaks, DorothyL mailing list).

" . . . the author's love of music boxes, coupled with a tough, breezy style, keeps the action moving forward in a lighthearted thriller." (Publishers Weekly).

"This page-turning light thriller puts a completely fresh twist on the murder-caper formula . . ." (Jenny Lynn Zappala, The Daily World, Aberdeen, WA).

"This is top-flight mystery writing, an entertainment that leaves the reader looking forward most impatiently to the next entry in the Thomas Purdue series." (Gretchen Geib, Guest Reviewer, Mysterious Gallery Website).

"Karp's wry humor makes you laugh out loud, and his fast pacing makes the book impossible to put down. The plot is wonderfully imaginative, with so many twists and turns, you wonder how it will ever come together. But miraculously it does so, in a brilliant and satisfying conclusion." (Pamela Young, Musical Box Society International News Bulletin).

"The sting . . . is intricate and immensely satisfying. There is plenty of 'Mission Impossible' cleverness, along with a few thrilling complications that succeed in keeping the blood pressure elevated, and a nick-of-time escape." (Barbara McMichael, Tacoma News Tribune).

"The characters are complex and fully realized and interesting, the narrative is intricate, and the whole book is literate, sophisticated, and well-constructed. The conclusion is quite stunning." (Ruth Greiner, Dorothy L)


Author:  Larry Karp
Hardcover: 282 pages

Published by Write Way

Publication date: 3/1/2000

ISBN-10: 1-885173-84-9

currently out of print


Trade Paperback:  252 pages

Published by World Wide

Publication date: 6/1/2001
ISBN-10:  0-373-26387-2

currently out of print

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All of Larry Karp's books can be found at Seattle Mystery Bookshop!All of Larry Karp's books (including autographed copies AND books that have gone out of print) can be found here: