Murder Your Employer: McMaster's Guide to Homicide

Rupert Holmes


Many years ago I saw a performance of Rupert Holmes' musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" based on Charles Dickens last unfinished manuscript. Mr. Holmes wrote the book, the lyrics, the music and the full orchestration. Dickens' usually bleak subject matter is staged as a vaudevillian comedy with multiple endings that the audience votes on at each performance and the actors then perform. Critics described it at the time as very "meta".

Rupert Holmes, whose real name is David Goldstein, has a long career in the music industry as a song writer, recording artist and playwright. He is also an award winning novelist and, as you might expect from seeing productions like "Edwin Drood", his books are hard-to-catergorize, genre-bending fictions. "Murder Your Employer" is a cross between Harry Potter, a true crime story and a how-to manual. It is the story of three students at the McMasters Conservatory for the Applied Arts. McMasters Conservatory teaches would-be "deletists" (murderers) the many nuances of the homicidal arts. In ordered to be considered for enrollment, students must be able to answer four questions: 1) Is this murder necessary, 2) Have you given your target every last chance to redeem themselves, 3) What innocent person might suffer by your actions, 4) Will this deletion improve the life of others? The location of the school is unknown since newly enrolled students arrive after being drugged and blindfolded. Required classes range from "Herbicide" and "All creatures Venemous and Small" to "Eroticide". To graduate one must successfully complete one's "deletion". If you fail then you will be deleted. 

This is a witty, lighthearted book where you find yourself turning each page to see what new ways a school could revolve around homicide.