Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
Vintage / March 25, 2014 / $15.95 print, $9.99 digital
From Rob Thomas, the creator of the television series and movie phenomenon Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling mystery series that picks up where the feature film left off.
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.
Note: This post contains MAJOR spoilers for the Veronica Mars movie now in theaters and on video on demand. Do not read until you've seen that. There are also minor spoilers for the book itself below. You've been warned.
We're officially living in a post-Veronica Mars: The Movie world. Can you believe it? I still can't: After 7 years, the bitch is back. And whether or not a sequel's greenlit for the big screen, her story won't end there, as series creator Rob Thomas, along with co-author Jennifer Graham, have also written the first book in a new series of Veronica Mars mysteries, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line.
Critical reception of the film has been mixed, and understandably so: It is by no means perfect. But I have to say that if Thomas & co.'s foremost goal was to pull me firmly back into the world and make me want more, well, mission accomplished. Luckily for me and for fellow fans once more deeply invested in Neptune goings-on, we won't have too long to wait to find out what happens next—The Thousand Dollar Tan Line picks up a mere two weeks after the events of the movie, and it draws us even further into Veronica's new/old life.
Running Mars Investigation while her dad is recuperating from the accident that killed Deputy Sacks, Veronica takes on a case that's most interesting for the person it brings back into her life. To say more would be to ruin a big surprise, but suffice to say, you don't want to miss this. Not only does it make for a great plot twist, but acts as a catalyst for character development that will surely be felt in the canon going forward.
You get the feeling both from the movie and this book that Thomas will always leave us just a bit unsatisfied, but a few threads left dangling in the movie are picked up again here. Among the tidbits doled out from Veronica's (third-person) perspective are how she and Keith navigate her decision to stick around town permenantly, the way she and naval-officer/father-rescuer/straight-up-hero Logan (!!!!) deal with a long-distance relationship after finally reuniting, what Mac working for Mars Investigations entails, whether or not Dick still parties like a frat boy (spoiler: in case the movie left any doubt, he does), and why Veronica was driving Logan's car at the end of the movie.
Mostly, though, we find our girl adjusting once more to the ups and downs of a life in the town she thought she'd left behind—running into former classmates, interfering with the sheriff's plans (or lack thereof), living with dad, gettin' into everyone's business, dragging Wallace to rowdy parties in the name of cases... All things we enjoyed watching in the series, but juxtaposed with past cases and experiences in the series often enough to remind us that this Veronica is a more mature, (slightly) wiser version of the teen P.I. we first knew and loved.
In truth, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line gives you just enough to make the wait for the next book/movie/show a little more bearable, and that's fine by this fangirl.
(But seriously, Rob Thomas—more Logan, please!)
Editor's Note: Feel free to talk movie reactions in the comments section as we await the book's release! What DID you think of Logan's career choice, and Celeste Kane shooting Weevil and Weevil getting back on his bike, and poor Piz's disappointment, and Keith's accident, and Gia's death, and those intense Logan/Veronica scenes (you guys, SHE CHOSE LOGAN!), and Mac quitting Kane Software to come work for Mars Investigations, and and and! Let's discuss.
Learn more or order a copy of Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham, available March 25, 2014:
Heather Waters is the site manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers and a 24/7 fangirl. LoVe 'shipper since 2005. Tweet her @redline_.