Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it’s spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person’s case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

In Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas has created a groundbreaking female detective who’s part Phillip Marlowe, part Nancy Drew, and all snark. With its sharp plot and clever twists, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Best Bits: This month has made my little fangirl heart sing with joy. Not only did we get a movie, but we also get a book that picks up right where it left off. I'll spare you that recap, and instead say that the book was the perfect way for readers to see more of Neptune. Side-characters make more appearances, particularly Wallace and Mac (who, let's be real, were my favorites). Despite the time between the end of the show and the movie these relationships haven't faded. I appreciated that Veronica could pick back up where she left off with them. Personally, I'm also hoping for a bit more Weevil in the next one. His story hasn't wrapped I've got hope!

What made this book work was the set-up. The book gives us a new mystery, and is akin to a long episode. We're given a missing girls, the idiot sheriff who fails at everything, and Veronica jumping into it. Veronica definitely hasn't learned much about avoiding danger (see Seasons 1-3, basically every episode). It always put me on edge during the show, and the book was no different. If I had been watching on-screen I probably would have been peeking through my fingers. The girl gets herself into trouble. Age has seemed to change her just a bit, though. She doesn't recover the same way, and it seems to hit her how much she puts herself in harm's way.It's nice because everyone else has seen that, she just never really accepted it.

Nit Picks: As someone who has watched Veronica Mars (even the third season) a couple different times, I feel pretty confident when I say that the book took a little while to find it's voice. Once the mystery picked up (and it was less of a summary of the movie) it fell into place. The snarky voice of Veronica was back. I also know that some people have been thrown off that the book isn't written in first-person. Quite honestly, I didn't really notice. So, I'm going to chalk that one up to personal preference.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars 1)
By Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Published by Vintage
324 Pages



Tales of Whimsy said...

I got this from the library on audio and can't wait to dive in.

Monique Morris said...

Cool! Another book to add to the TBR pile. Was logan present in this book? Or Piz?

Dazzling Mage said...

Aaah, I want to read this! Unfortunately, haven't watched the movie yet (blasphemous, I know!). I want to know if Logan was in the book too!

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