Book: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
Author: Max Wirestone
Publisher: Redhook Books
Paperback: 320 pages
The odds of Dahlia successfully navigating adulthood are 3,720 to 1. But never tell her the odds.
Meet Dahlia Moss, the reigning queen of unfortunate decision-making in the St. Louis area. Unemployed broke, and on her last bowl of ramen, she’s not living her best life. But that’s all about to change.
Before Dahlia can make her life any messier on her own she’s offered a job. A job that she’s woefully under-qualified for. A job that will lead her to a murder, an MMORPG, and possibly a fella (or two?).
Turns out unfortunate decisions abound, and she’s just the girl to deal with them.
As the queen of making unfortunate decisions, the title “The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss” caught my interest. The novel lives up to the expectations raised by the title. It had me laughing so loudly that my family darted suspicious glances at me. Requesting the book on NetGalley is one of the best decisions I made.
Dahlia Moss is an unemployed young woman, and shares an apartment with her friend Charice. Jonah Long, an acquaintance approaches her to work as a private detective to retrieve ‘The Bejeweled Spear of Infinite Piercing’, which has been stolen from him. Though she doesn’t have any experience or knowledge of detection, she accepts it. To her credit, she did need the money. This spear doesn’t exist in real world, but is a weapon in a MMORPG, called Zoth.
This weird mission takes turn for the worse when Jonah is found murdered with a replica of the spear. Instead of getting out of it, Dahlia continues her to work for Jonah’s family who offer even larger amount of money. Now, she works under the guise of arranging an online funeral for Jonah in the game.
I like fast-moving plots, but this is the first time I was invested in the lead character more than the plot. Dahlia is witty, a little judgmental but still endearing. Her friend Charice mixes with weird sets of people; her quirky ways had me chuckling. Charice actually once bugs the cops, and follows them around to get more information on the case.
The author Max Wirestone has a fabulous voice which makes even the mundane things seem interesting. He has managed to pull the first person POV as if Dahlia had written the story herself. I would love to read more from this author.
With many witty references to the gaming culture, this story delighted the geek in me, and the pace, and suspense pacified the mystery lover. However, as the story flits between the real world, and the virtual world of Zoth, some people have two names which was confusing at times.
I recommend this hilarious novel to everyone who loves a well-written humour.
*I received a review copy from Redhook Books via NetGalley for an honest review.