• A New York Times Top 10
    Bestselling Hardcover 2023
    is now
    A New York Times Top 10
    Bestselling Paperback 2024!
    #7 New York Times
    #1 L.A. Times
    #6 Indie Bestsellers List
    #6 Associated Press
    #6 Barnes & Noble
    Barnes & Noble Mystery Pick May 2024
    Barnes & Noble Top 10 Mysteries 2023
    Amazon 50 Best Books of 2023
  • "This wry thriller by the celebrated crime novelist, composer and dramatist inaugurates a new series set at a conservatory for the art of homicide. ‘While there may be madness in McMasters methodology,’ one narrator says, ‘our curriculum has proven itself to be of sound mind and student body.’”
  • “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!”
  • “A funny, fast-paced, flip-the-playbook mystery in which three ordinary citizens are trained in murder on a luxurious hidden estate, a fantasy academy laid out like a combination of Hogwarts, Downton Abbey and a ‘White Lotus’-style resort.”
  • “Wildly entertaining, clever and inventive!”
    Louisa Ermelino, Publishers Weekly
  • “From the fiendishly funny hand of the Edgar and Tony-winning Holmes, this thriller is delightfully dark and compelling. Perfect for readers looking for something very different.”
    Jane Murphy, Booklist
  • “Delightfully wicked, a gifted wordsmith delivers a top-notch read that both entertains and amuses. Excellent pacing replete with droll observations, the book’s satisfying conclusion is as delightful as its premise!”
    Amy Nolan Library Journal (starred review)
  • “This will be one of the funniest books of the year!”
    CrimeReads, “Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2023”
  • “A book of surpassing cleverness written by a man whose protean reserves of wit have given us cultural touchstones ranging from the 1979 pop hit ‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’ to the Tony Award-winning musical ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood.’ A coup de grâce of Holmesian cleverness!”
  • “Original and captivating: the concept, the execution, the characters, the brilliant wordplay. You will find it impossible to stop reading until the extraordinary puzzles are solved. Holmes will have you hysterical—with laughter AND terror! ”
    Otto Penzler, The Mysterious Bookshop
  • “Only Rupert Holmes could make murder laugh-out-loud funny. It’s fiendishly clever, and the twists, tricks and endless surprises make me want to sign up for another semester!”
    R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street
  • “His farcical plotting, idiosyncratic characters, and witty stylish prose combine for a fun, frothy read.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • “This case study in the droll amusements of homicide will keep you up at night—alternately turning pages and checking to make sure the front door is locked!”
    Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
  • “With dry humor and an eye for hidden clues, Rupert Holmes imagines a secret school that teaches the fine art of pulling off the perfect (and perfectly deserved) murder. An utterly creative and deliciously diabolical read.”
    Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of Find Me
  • “Holmes fans will not be surprised that a story about murder can also be full of zingers and witty wordplay: humor, lush surroundings, sympathetic characters whose heart and humanity can’t be extinguished, and clever plotting that would challenge even a great detective like the author’s namesake.”
    Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, Shelf Awareness
  • “This gleefully dark tale, filled with wry humor and genuine insight into human behavior is better than a day at the amusement park. Characters that evoke images of people we may know resonate with real life, no matter the fantastic nature of the narrative. The yarn gallops at a delightful pace making this an easy read. Dark fun!”
    “Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2023,” Reading the West