Spotlight on: Murder Your Employer by Rupert Holmes


Rupert Holmes, photo credit  Susan Woog Wagner

Holmes rendered the campus in great detail. “I built the world in my head,” he says. “I wanted to know it so well that I could give a guided tour,” which is one reason the book took so long. Holmes started writing Murder Your Employer more than a decade ago and did “exhaustive preparatory.” He was also writing shows, adapting John Grisham’s book A Time to Kill for Broadway in 2013, among “many projects and challenges.” But when the pandemic closed theaters, he had time. “And I needed an escape,” Holmes says. “We all did. So I decided to sidestep into the portal of the early 1950s.” ―via Publishers Weekly

Murder Your Employer  by Rupert Holmes

What booksellers are saying about Murder Your Employer

  • I took this book home in self-defense, hiding it from my booksellers and ended up reading it. So fun! It’s got everything! Potter-esque academic setting? Check! Monty Python-like humor? Check! Knives Out suspense? Check! Three students at a school for the homicidal arts want to murder their employers. Who hasn’t fantasized about that, really? (Hopefully, not our booksellers…) Incredibly amusing book. Devoured it in a few sittings. Written by the guy who wrote “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”? Another check! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Sorry for the earworm. Not.
      ―Kelly Justice from Fountain Books in Richmond, VA | Buy from Fountain Bookstore

  • What a fun book! Set in the early fifties and written the slightly stilted style of the times this is the story of three people attending a secret school teaching the art of murder. Each has a different reason for being but each has passed the first tenet of the school which is; Does this person truly deserve to die? Three resounding yeses and it’s time to move onto the curriculum… but keep your eyes on your fellow students, they are killer wannabees after all. Great wordplay that had me chuckling throughout, and great characters that grow on you, this is one not to miss.
      ―Pete Mock from McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, NC | Buy from McIntyre’s Books

  • Being the boss I was a little afraid to read this. The title was what drew me in. I am usually not a fantasy reader but I am trying to look at new genres. This book fit the bill! It was so fun. Mystery, mayhem and murder make you turn pages into the night. We are introduced to the murders and then the victims and you become invested in them and feel bad that you are rooting for them. Lots of laugh out loud moments.
      ―Suzanne Lucey from Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC | Buy from Page 158 Books

  • Death is a sweet release… Unless it’s your own. Darkly enriching…this intriguing tale of mystery, mayhem and murder is the perfect blend of intelligence and intricacy. Slow burn to edge of your seat, this story leaves you guessing and assuming…only to be questioning if what you read was truly fiction, or entirely possible. Written from multiple perspectives, we follow the lives of three individuals on a mission to untangle their lives by order of ‘deletion’ (murder). Is it a justified killing, or simply revenge? As the story unfolds and we uncover what brought these students to learn the art of murder, you find yourself on the dark side, rooting for a killer.
      ―Doloris Vest from Book No Further in Roanoke, VA | Buy from Book No Further

About Rupert Holmes

Rupert 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 the book of Curtains and his sole creation, the 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, was the first novel with its own original, clue-bearing musical score. He has adapted Agatha Christie, John Grisham, and R.L. Stine for the Broadway and international stage. His short stories have been anthologized in such collections as Best American Mystery StoriesChristmas at the Mysterious Bookshop,and On a Raven’s Wing. Holmes’s earliest story-songs were published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and he is also the writer/vocalist of several Billboard Top 10 hits, including his Billboard #1 multi-platinum classic with a memorable twist-ending: “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).”

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