Dahlia Moss is a great disappointment to herself. She has lacks a job, a boyfriend, and friends. She is a hot mess. What she has is a quirky roommate who brings the weird Jonah into her life with an job offer that seems too good to be true, but money speaks and a grand up front makes it easier to overlook all of the odd circumstances.
Things escalate quickly when Jonah turns up dead and detectives turn up on Dahlia’s doorstep.
This is a mystery made for the dorks, geeks, and nerds. I absolutely love it. From her jigglypuff beanie to her shaky grasp of MMORPG, Dahlia as a heroine appeals to the dork inside of me. It’s no secret, I am a huge dork. I announce it every chance I get.
I can not tell you enough how funny this book is. She is awkward, but believably so. Her roommate Charise is, in a word, crazy. And every one she meets brings a little bit more to the humor.
Then there’s the fact that a good portion of the story takes place in a digital world. I expected this to be annoying. Either it was going to be her saying “I moved my character forward to the waypoint and clicked to pick it up” or on the other end of the spectrum she would write about it like it was a real world and take away from the realism of the story. When you’re writing a humorous murder mystery there’s not a lot of realism to spare because let’s face it, murders tend not to be humorous. Max Wirestone handled the foray into the digital world with finesse. I never forgot that Dahlia was playing a game, but at the same time the writing wasn’t abrasive about it.
I really, truly, and deeply hope that there will be a sequel. In fact, I hope there will be a whole series. Dahlia will have to grow out of being such a shotty detective, but do people really grow out of being quirky? I haven’t yet, so I think it’s safe to say that Dahlia’s character will shine through even when she’s not solving mysteries through mostly happenstance.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Embrace your inner geek and read this book.