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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss (Dahlia Moss Mystery Series #1)
     

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss (Dahlia Moss Mystery Series #1)

3.5 6
by Max Wirestone
 

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Veronica Mars meets the World of Warcraft in The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, a mystery romp with a most unexpected heroine.

If it were up to me this book would be called Hilarious Things That Happened That Were Not At All Dahlia's Fault — or HTTHTWNAADF, for short.

OK, I probably shouldn't have taken money from a

Overview

Veronica Mars meets the World of Warcraft in The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, a mystery romp with a most unexpected heroine.

If it were up to me this book would be called Hilarious Things That Happened That Were Not At All Dahlia's Fault — or HTTHTWNAADF, for short.

OK, I probably shouldn't have taken money from a mysterious eccentric to solve a theft, given that I'm not a detective, and that I am sometimes outwitted by puzzles in children's video games. I probably shouldn't have stolen bags of trash from a potential murder suspect. Arguably— just arguably, mind you— it may have been unwise to cos-play at an event where I was likely to be shot at.

But sometimes you just have to take some chances, right? And maybe things do get a little unfortunate. What of it? If you ask me, an unfortunate decision here or there can change your life. In a positive way, just so long you don't killed in the process. Admittedly, that's the tricky bit.

Dahlia Moss Mysteries
The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
The Astonishing Mistakes of Dahlia Moss
The Questionable Behavior of Dahlia Moss

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Revel in the geekery of The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss... Dahlia Moss is all of us."—B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog"

Wirestone's debut is a gem that can be summed up as 'geek chic.'"—Library Journal"

A clever mystery featuring a delightful amateur detective. Or, in online parlance: Dahlia Moss FTW!"—Kirkus"

This book is a barrel of fun."—Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author"

A hilarious read sure to delight mystery lovers and gamers alike. With unforgettable characters and a stand-out heroine, Dahlia kept me guessing until the very end. A laugh-out-loud gem of a book."—N.K. Traver, author of Duplicity"

Dahlia's story is a zany, hilarious, laugh fest that made my inner geek girl sit up and search for a caper to solve! Take the clumsy sweetness of Bridget Jones, combine with the intriguing geekiness of Felicity Smoak, and you have Dahlia Moss in this delightful romp!"—Rebecca Zanetti, New York Times bestselling author"

At last, a 'geek mystery' ... entirely fresh."—New Hampshire Union Leader"

A fun novel for mystery and MMO game lovers both."—Mystery Scene

Publishers Weekly
08/31/2015
Wirestone’s debut features the snarky Dahlia Moss, an unemployed thirty-something woman tasked with solving a virtual mystery that escalates into an actual murder. Her wildly spontaneous roommate, Charice, introduces Dahlia to the ultra-wealthy Jonah Long, who hires Dahlia to be a detective and find “the Bejeweled Spear of Infinite Piercing” that was stolen from him in a game called Zoth, an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). Jonah hires Dahlia because she’s familiar with the game and briefly temped as a receptionist at a detective agency, but when Jonah is murdered with a replica of the missing virtual spear, the stakes rise for Dahlia. As Dahlia begins playing Zoth looking for clues, the book loses steam, which it continues to do as she familiarizes herself with people in Jonah’s real and virtual life to see if she can find his killer and the person who stole the spear. The convoluted plot overwhelms the author’s attempts at witty repartee and humor. This story will mainly appeal to gamers. (Oct.)
Library Journal
10/01/2015
Librarian/author Wirestone's debut is a gem that can be summed up as "geek chic." The title character is like no other. Dahlia is initially hired to solve a mystery in a virtual online game, only to have to solve the real-life murder of the person who hired her, the intriguing Jonah Long. Dahlia's life is hilarious, ridiculous, and adventurous as she has surrounded herself with others who are even more bizarre. Though Dahlia continually makes unfortunate decisions, she just might be the right one to handle all of it and score a guy in the mix as well. VERDICT This is a fun, quick read for those interested in light crime fiction, as well as a recommended read for all fangirls and fanboys or anime lovers. May also do well as a YA crossover for older teens. One does have to suspend disbelief to embark on the adventure of this novel. If you're not into gaming or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) better to skip altogether.—Anne M. Miskewitch, Chicago P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
2015-07-29
A hapless 20-something is surprised to find that online gaming is good for something after all—and that something is catching a real-world murderer. Dahlia Moss has been going on hopeless job interviews for more than a year without any luck, and her life has become a boring and ramen-filled one. So she's surprised that when she finally does get a job, it finds her—she's offered $2,000 to recover a stolen virtual weapon from a massive multiplayer online role-playing game called Kingdoms of Zoth. This seems to be easy work for the former geek, but when her employer dies before he can pay her the second half of her fee, Dahlia is pulled into a murder mystery. On- and offline, an odd cast of characters floods into her life, from the former guild mates of the recently deceased to a detective who may know more than he lets on about gaming, and her life quickly goes from boring to dangerous. She may have even found love, though she suspects it may be with a murderer. Wirestone's writing is funny and quite nerdy—though while practicing geeks will find many jokes hidden in the story for them, nongeeks will not feel left out. The many clever references are a nice accompaniment for Dahlia's complex voice, which is winning even when she's being a bit of a loser. Wirestone combines the traditions of several genres to great effect here, such that a mystery reader will enjoy the book as much as an MMORPG aficionado. Though the whodunit is not particularly hard to solve, the book is more focused on the journey than the destination. Even the acknowledgments are fun to read. A clever mystery featuring a delightful amateur detective. Or, in online parlance: Dahlia Moss FTW!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316385985
Publisher:
Orbit
Publication date:
02/14/2017
Series:
Dahlia Moss Mystery Series , #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
216,897
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Max Wiretone lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his husband, his son, a very old dog, and more books than a reasonable person should own. Find him @maxwires.

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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
StudentofParables More than 1 year ago
As someone who grew up in St. Louis, to find a book based there, (that is not historical in nature,) was a cool and rare find to come upon. I enjoyed the author highlighting Ted Drews and the Loop, but felt there was more he could have done with the setting. Granted, St. Louis is a sprawling city, with a lot to take in, and as the main character has an intermittently working car, maybe it was for the best she didn’t venture out and about too far! This book is HILARIOUS. I was laughing out loud so many times while reading, stopping my husband to share the latest one liner that had me rolling. As we both play MMOs, there were many points that were funny because they were so true. On that point, I really enjoyed the author’s treatment of MMOs, the community within them, and just general nerdiness overall. It was a loving, but realistic look at the highs and lows within the community, with plenty for readers from within that world to identify with and chuckle at. Even if you don’t play MMOs, the overall world of fandoms was well represented, making this a great book to recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre. MMO characters, or avatars, are all about the customization you put onto the outside – the scars, the hair, the gear and outfits, etc. They are usually brightly colored, and distinctive. The same description can be said for the characters in the book – diverse and distinctive. Not in the same way as the two-foot high pink hair of an avatar, but in the fleshing out of nuances, of well rounded characters that really stand out. This allows them to hold their own through a convoluted and fast-paced plot, which ultimately reaches a satisfying conclusion. The friends I have told about this book can’t wait to get their own copy! I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I just could not get into this book. I think it was well written and everything, but I'm not a gamer, so I was lost on a lot of it. Plus I think there was so much pot smoking going on it that I must have caught a few whiffs. HA!!! I read about 56% of the book and they kept talking about going into different levels and everyone had like two or three names. I did get a couple of chuckles out of it. But seriously, I didn't think the main character was all that bright. I myself like strong female leads, so that was another negatory for me as well. It just wasn't for me. I think that it would be a great book for gamer fans that like a little mystery. I went back and checked and it didn't say anything about any gaming in the blurb. If it had, I definitely would not have requested it because I know I would be out of my league. Thanks Redhook Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 3 days ago
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
I had mixed feelings about this book. I loved the story line but the language throughout and the one-liners did not connect with me. Having made it through that, though, this book was funny. Dahlia Moss is a heroine who does not come across answers easily. She almost trips over the mystery in this book, as well as most of her life. I don't want to give away a story line in this book but I will say that she is a millennial, unemployed and crashing at her friends place. She never does well on job interviews. She is to find a 3D printed spear from a video game. All the characters are fun to laugh with, except for one or two. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys playing computer games and is not put off by occasional uses of bad language. I was given this book by NetGalley and Redhook Books in exchange for my honest review.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
To say that this book is completely different to anything that I had read before, would be an understatement. Dahlia Moss is an unemployed, skint, young woman, sharing an apartment with her crazy best friend Charice. She is approached out of the blue, by an acquaintance of Charice’s, Jonah Long, who wants her to become a private detective for him (even though she has no skills in the occupation). For a nice sum of money, Dahlia decides to give it a go. Things aren’t quite straight forward though. You see, what Jonah wants is something returned to him that has been stolen, ‘The Bejeweled Spear of Infinite Piercing’. The spear is not an actual real-life spear, it is a weapon in the on-line computer game, Zoth, which he wants Dahlia to join, and find who took it. Things take a turn for the worst when Jonah Long is found dead, killed by a copy that has been made of the computerised spear. Now Jonah’s family want Dahlia to carry on her detective work for an even larger sum of money. The police though warn Dahlia to leave the case to them, otherwise she could get herself into a lot of trouble, and not just with them. The book is told from Dahlia’s point of view, and flits between the real world and the on-line gaming world of Zoth (a bit like World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons). Not being a gamer myself, I did find the book confusing at times, as there are a lot of characters in the book who have two names. A cyber name for when playing Zoth, and a real life name, such as Dahlia became RedRadish, a fairy with a harp, when playing Zoth. With her communication with Jonah’s ‘friends’ both in the game and outside of cyberspace, sometimes I couldn’t remember which person played which character. I did have a fondness for Dahlia. She is unusual and weirdly likeable. She mixed in even weirder circles, especially when her best friend and room-mate Charice was involved. With her non-existent knowledge of being a detective, her detective skills were somewhat unorthodox, yet she turned out to be quite good at it, even if she did make some of the discoveries by chance, and that she didn’t actually locate the spear by herself. Charice for me was the character that brought the laughter to the book. She had quirky strange habits and the way she views the world around her will, like no-one else would, have you giggling out loud, though I certainly wouldn’t like to share a room with her. When I read the synopsis, I kind of knew that this book might not be suited to me, but I like to try different genres and different styles of books. Unfortunately this did nothing for me. I found myself struggling to get through each chapter and could only read it for short periods of time as I lost interest in the plot sometimes. If you are a gamer or someone who is interested in the gaming world, then this book would definitely be for you.
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
4 Stars. Original review at 125pages I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ♦ For fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars. Yes please, do go on... I was intrigued by the first line of the synopsis as those are all things I enjoy. I feared that I was being set up for disappointment as most of the times a book is compared to things I really like it is not like them at all. But, YAY, The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss delivered. Part geek chick, part disillusioned twenty-something and part Jessica Fletcher, this book was a delight. Now I do not like mystery novels. In my review requests it even states I do not accept mystery books. But the thing I really enjoyed was this was not a typical mystery. Yes, it had a murder and intrigue and the whole premise was a who-done-it but the addition of cos-play, a semi-ridiculous MMORPG and a main character who wears a Jigglypuff beanie made it awesome. The world building and pacing were both fast and well done and the characters were well articulated. This is a mystery series I will enjoy reading and I hope the next one comes out soon. ◊ Favorite lines - "It may have been the drugs, but the sudden serendipity of the family line pouring out of me made me unspeakably happy. It was like going to your high school reunion - and having, against all expectations - a really good time. I was being shot at by a crazy woman in a tree costume and I thought it was, well, a little humorous. A small victory for Dahlia Moss."