Posted in gaming, geek, geek culture, Humor, Realistic Fiction, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Geek Mystery – The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

dahlia mossThe Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, by Max Wirestone (Oct. 2015, Red Hook Books), $20, ISBN: 978-0316385978

Recommended for ages 14+

Geeks finally have a Jessica Fletcher to call their own (That’s the detective from the old TV show, Murder, She Wrote – ask your parents, kids)!  Meet Dahlia Moss – twenty-something geek girl who doesn’t make the best life decisions. She’s unemployed, unattached, and broke, living off her eccentric roommate for the time being. When Charice, her roommate, throws another one of her crazy parties, Dahlia finds herself being hired for private detective work by one of the guests, Jonah – it seems that someone stole a valuable artifact from him through his MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game – think World of Warcraft, for any uninitiated reading this). Dahlia has zero detecting experience, but she does speak geek, and Jonah flashes a lot of money her way, so she takes the case. The plot only thickens when Jonah turns up dead shortly after. Now, Dahlia’s determined to find the artifact, the killer, and quite possibly, a new boyfriend. Let’s hope her decision-making abilities improve!

Told in the first person from Dahlia’s point of view, this is an often hilarious, readable, fun, whodunit. We’ve got a new heroine for the geek age in Dahlia Moss, who’s self-conscious, sarcastic, and fluent in fandom. If you love a good mystery – heck, even if you don’t, but love science fiction, gaming, fantasy, or any kind of fandom, this is a great book for you. Wirestone is a librarian, and if there’s one thing I know about our people, the Geek is strong with us. She humorously captures the strange bedfellows that online gaming makes of us all, and manages to weave together a smartly layered mystery and a love of all things quirky and geek. Dahlia Moss herself is wonderfully left of center and will appeal to anyone whose square peg just won’t fit into that round hole, no matter how hard we try.

Teens and college students will get a kick out of this book and likely try to figure out how their own social groups match up to Dahlia and her friends. Here’s hoping we get some more Dahlia adventures in the future!



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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