Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide

S. & S. Audio. Feb. 2023. 14:13 hrs. ISBN 9781797149837. $24.99. M
Edgar Award–winning Holmes (Swing) uses witty wordplay and grim humor as the basis for an elaborately detailed story about three students at a most unusual school. The McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts is a secret academy for would-be murderers. This highbrow institute would never use a word so crass as “murder”; instead, its claims that its mission is to educate students on how to ethically “delete” those who meet their criteria. Students leave the school as fully accredited graduates with a final “thesis” project in the real world—and the completed thesis is often displayed in an attractive urn. Told through multiple story lines, the novel follows aeronautic engineer Cliff Iverson, who has been sponsored by an anonymous benefactor to attend the conservatory. Initially appalled by the institute, he attempts to escape but then settles into becoming a star pupil. Two other story lines include characters hoping to delete employers. Holmes’s novel creates a richly atmospheric 1950s setting, and narrators Simon Vance and Neil Patrick Harris romp through the material, seemingly having a ball as they deliver the puns and cheeky quotes with perfect pacing and gusto.
VERDICT Vance and Harris are a listener’s dream team. This rollicking mystery is a must-purchase for all libraries.
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