Narrator: Neil Patrick Harris, Simon Vance
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on February 21, 2023
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller
Length: 14 hrs 13 mins
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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From the diabolical imagination of Edgar Award–winning novelist, playwright, and story-songwriter Rupert Holmes comes a devilish thriller with a killer concept: The McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts, a luxurious, clandestine college dedicated to the fine art of murder where earnest 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 delightful 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.
It’s not often that I pick audiobooks based on the narrator, but Simon Vance and Neil Patrick Harris, and the title is Murder Your Employer – I was sold.
The McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts is an exclusive institution of higher education for aspiring murderers, referred to by the school as deletists. The classes cover a large range of subjects from “Herbicide” to forgery to croquet (mallets can be deadly weapons). Murder Your Employer details the experiences of three students from the graduating class – aeronautics engineer Cliff Iverson (whose anonymous sponsor remains a mystery revealed at the end of the story), hospital employee Gemma Lindley, and Dulcie Mown (alias for Hollywood diva Doria Maye) – each of whom wants to kill their respective employer/boss. We follow all three candidates through their orientation, training, and ultimately their “thesis” or how well they apply what they learn and execute their plan.
The 1950s setting gave it a nostalgic air and the campus itself was cozy and insulated, which made for an interesting contrast with the school’s purpose. The book is darkly funny and has characters who you want to see pass their final projects. The dialogue is witty and the writing is intelligent.
And I was right, it made a great audiobook. Vance narrates most of the story, but several chapters are written in the first person as Cliff’s journal, read by Neil Patrick Harris. They both, unsurprisingly, did fabulous jobs and made some of the slower, more detail-oriented parts of the book flow right along.
Murder Your Employer was clever and fun and I truly enjoyed it. It even has a happy ending. Well, mostly.