cover image The Questionable Behavior of Dahlia Moss: A Dahlia Moss Mystery

The Questionable Behavior of Dahlia Moss: A Dahlia Moss Mystery

Max Wirestone. Redhook, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-38605-0

Wirestone effortlessly integrates comedy into a murder inquiry in his outstanding third Dahlia Moss mystery (after 2016’s The Astonishing Mistakes of Dahlia Moss). Emily Swenson, a mercenary attorney acting on the behalf of an unnamed client, hires Dahlia, who is studying to be a PI, to commit corporate espionage. Emily plants Dahlia as a temporary receptionist at Cahaba Apps, a game-development company in St. Louis. Dahlia’s mission is to steal the code for a new game Cahaba is developing. Cahaba proves to be full of eccentrics whose struggle to complete the new project on time is complicated by an intensely negative blog post about its oppressive working conditions. Dahlia’s efforts to complete her covert assignment become even more difficult after she finds a dead woman in the ladies’ room. The wry and self-deprecating Dahlia is an endearing lead with a knack for humorous asides (the investigating cop is “the sort of person who, if suddenly killed in action, would be proclaimed as being a couple of weeks away from retirement”). Wodehouse fans will find much to like. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Jan.)