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!