15 September 2015

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

(Copy provided by NetGalley.)

From Goodreads:

"For fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars, or anyone who has ever geeked out about something.

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."


Oh, this was a fun read! The author, Max Wirestone, states in his blurb that he wanted to create something that would appeal to the mystery lovers and the geek crowd. He managed it, and delightfully so. Dahlia is a realistic main character, clever but not too clever, depressed but not too depressed, and witty and capable of thinking on her feet. I liked her quite a bit, especially when she was skewering the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. There are some stereotypes that need to die, and the MPDG is definitely one of them.

Dahlia's need to know "Why?" drove this narrative and made her a realistic rookie detective. She didn't just stumble around the investigation and suddenly hit a wall of clues (another skewered stereotype), but drew reasonable conclusions from the information she was privy to. And BEST of ALL, SHE DIDN'T ASSUME ANYTHING! There aren't many literary devices that drive me more nuts than the artificial bias created by the main character deciding someone is guilty, twisting the evidence to fit their conclusions, and then oh no! Suddenly they find out they were completely wrong, usually when stuck in a compromising situation with the REAL villain who is now trying to kill them because they know too much! Hey, villain, if you hadn't tried to kill them, they wouldn't have figured it out and you would have gotten away with it!

Anyway, this is NOT that kind of book. Dahlia waited until she had all the information, THEN she put things together. Such a refreshing change! And geekery abounds. There was so much to love!

Gentle Reader Alert: There were a number of gratuitous f-bombs. If you can squint really hard and blur them out, that would be cool, because this was was a great story and you might enjoy it as much as I did.

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