Costly Reflections in a Midas Mirroris an educational novel to be used near the end of a principles of managerial accounting course or at the beginning of a second-level cost accounting course. This instructional novel is ideal for an MBA program or a finance course which has a light coverage of managerial accounting. The inverse of ledgers, margins, and units, the story contains dead bodies, a wealthy client, and a drug-money laundering scheme. This supplemental text mixes fraud, murder, art, ethics, terrorism, and managerial accounting together to get a better way of learning the accounting process. Lenny Cramer, a Professor at Columbia University, tries to help a wealthy friend of his university. As a managerial professor, he uses his forensic background to solve a "whodunit" plot. Along the way, business practices and accounting concepts are elucidated in a way both students and instructors will find gripping as well as informative. This scenario approach may be used to reinforce cost accounting principles and introduce writing skills into the classroom.
The potential murderers are numerous in this fast-paced Philip Marlowe-type intrigue. Although a fundamental premise in accounting is that the reporting entity is a going-concern in the absence of evidence to the contrary, with so many murders in this plot, a liquidation assumption is more appropriate. So jump on board and enjoy the read. But keep sunk costs values and salability of assets in mind as you unravel the plot, rather than the traditional historical costs. Remember that an effective managerial accountant must be a good detective with a computer, even without a fedora and snub-nosed revolver.
Dan Stone said in a review that "Lenny Cramer and his life offer rich possibilities for exploring the construction of an accountant life." The novel "has a sense of humor, it entertains, and it even educates. Ultimately, Crumbley and his pioneering co-authors deserve our thanks and praise for bravely creating a new genre of accounting scholarship despite considerable overt hostility from both in and outside the academy."
"The academically oriented mystery novel Costly Reflections in a Midas Mirror is an excellent aid in the teaching of managerial accounting in that it vividly brings a wide range of interesting situations to the reader and then applies well explained examples of numerous managerial accounting concepts and practices.…[The book] provides an exceptionally well blended presentation of an intriguing mystery novel and a well written managerial accounting text that makes for an overall enjoyable read." — The Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship