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Don't Be Afraid of the Dork

Covered in dog hair, Obsessed with books, Wondering what it's all about. I suspect the answer is ice cream and the ocean.

Need a Veronica Mars Fix? This'll do it!

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line - Jennifer Graham, Rob Thomas

Original Publication Year: 2014

Genre(s): Mystery

Series: Veronica Mars #1

Awards: None

Format: Paperback

Narrated by: NA


This is the first in a series of novels based on the short-lived but very awesome TV show Veronica Mars created by Rob Thomas.  If you are unaware, the show which aired from 2004-2007 focused on a teenaged sleuth Veronica Mars, in a SoCal town (Neptune) sharply divided along economic lines.  While it might sound a little silly, it was actually smart, sharply witty and had that rare quality of making you laugh one minute and be genuinely moved the next.  The franchise saw a revival in 2014 with a new movie funded by Kickstarter and the start of this series of mystery novels.  The novel begins a few months after the movie ends  - Veronica is now in her late twenties and has a law degree but she gets sucked back into the PI business in her home town and she has decided to stay sucked in.


With that background, the framework of this story is the disappearance of a couple of teenaged girls during spring break in Neptune.  Veronica is hired by the Neptune Chamber of Commerce to find the girls because kidnappings are bad for business and the town Sheriff?  Is incompetent and corrupt.  Veronica’s investigation, with the help of her best friends Wallace and Mac will lead her into the shady world of Mexican Drug Cartels, reunite her with her estranged alcoholic mother Leanne and as always expose the shady underbelly of Neptune. 


For fans of the show and the Veronica Mars universe, I think you will in no way be disappointed.  The feel of the book, the voice of the characters, the humor, the relationships - they are all there intact and pretty near perfectly reproduced.  It feels like a quality Veronica Mars episode in book form.  The book is authored by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham and I’d be interested to know what the roles were.  Did they actually co-author?  Did Jennifer Graham write and Rob Thomas approve?  It doesn’t really matter, I suppose. because however it was done it is spot on.


For folks who know nothing about the show and are just looking for a good mystery, I think you will also be entertained.  The case is convoluted and has plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing.  Veronica is an engaging character whether you’ve met her before or not and I think the book on its own provides plenty of insight into her complicated relationships.  It’s these relationships and the character of Neptune itself that provides the solid mystery storyline with some greater interest.  The book also moves at a snappy pace and was a complete page turner for me. 


Final Verdict:  A nourish mystery that will satisfy all and completely captures the charm and excellence of the TV show it is based on. 


Tomorrow I'll post my review of Mr. Kiss and Tell the second in the Veronica Mars series which is being release on Tuesday January 20th!