Description

A New York Times bestseller! From Edgar Award–winning novelist, playwright, and story-songwriter Rupert Holmes comes a diabolical thriller with a killer concept: The McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts, “a fantasy academy laid out like a combination of Hogwarts, Downton Abbey, and a White Lotus–style resort” (Los Angeles Times) dedicated to the art of murder where students study how best to “delete” their most deserving victim.

Who hasn’t wondered for a split second what the world would be like if a person who is the object of your affliction ceased to exist? But then you’ve probably never heard of The McMasters Conservatory, dedicated to the consummate execution of the homicidal arts. To gain admission, a student must have an ethical reason for erasing someone who deeply deserves a fate no worse (nor better) than death. The campus of this “Poison Ivy League” college—its location unknown to even those who study there—is where you might find yourself the practice target of a classmate…and where one’s mandatory graduation thesis is getting away with the perfect murder of someone whose death will make the world a much better place to live.

Prepare for an education you’ll never forget. A “fiendishly funny” (Booklist) mix of witty wordplay, breathtaking twists and genuine intrigue, Murder Your Employer will gain you admission into a wholly original world, cocooned within the most entertaining book about well-intentioned would-be murderers you’ll ever read.

About the author(s)

Rupert Holmes’s New York Times bestseller, Murder Your Employer (the first volume in his new McMasters Guide to Homicide series), was also a Top Ten on the Indie Bestseller List, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, and Associated Press. Holmes has received two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, and multiple Tony® and Drama Desk Awards for his Broadway mystery musicals, including Curtains and his Tony® award–winning Best Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. His first novel, Where the Truth Lies, was nominated for a Nero Wolfe award for Best American Mystery Novel, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut Novel, and became a motion picture starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. His second novel, Swing, included his own original, clue-bearing musical score. His stories have been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories, On a Raven's Wing, A Merry Band of Murderers, Dead Man’s Hand, and Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop. Holmes has adapted Agatha Christie, John Grisham, and R.L. Stine for the Broadway and international stage. His lyrics have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and EQ anthologies, and he is also the writer/vocalist of several Top Ten hits, including his Billboard #1 multi-platinum classic with a memorable twist-ending: “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).” 

Reviews

“Holmes is a gifted wordsmith whose latest is a top-notch read that both entertains and amuses. . . . Delightfully wicked . . . An amusing and cheeky tale with excellent pacing replete with droll observations.” Library Journal (starred review)

“This will be one of the funniest books of the year.” CrimeReads, “Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2023”

“If the illustrations of Edward Gorey came to life, they would be in the same neighborhood as this ‘Poison Ivy League’ college. . . . Although this beautifully designed DIY manual is full of twists, the emphasis is on comedy . . . but the extraordinary Holmes can pull the heartstrings too. . . . You will love this gigglesome guide to the graves of academe.” The Times (London)

“How has no one thought of this before? Murders set at an imaginary academy set up to train murderers . . . Holmes delights in wordplay that includes puns, literary terms, cultural references, and twists. . . . As Holmes takes hairpin turns from irony back to sincerity for his three McMasters pupils, his zany storytelling will delight fans of The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett, all Sherlock Holmes stories, and even those who love tales of arcane and Gothic institutions.” —Bethanne Patrick, NPR