REVIEW: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Originally published 2016-04-20: They have Veronica Mars books?!


image of teen detective Veronica Mars in a car with a camera

Ah, Veronica Mars. The pint-sized detective with the smart mouth and a knack for diving headfirst into trouble is one of my favorite characters of all time, so when my wife bought me the first book in the Veronica Mars novel series, I was overjoyed.

And skeptical.

cover of Veronica Mars Thousand Dollar Tan Line

Book Description

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. …[I]t’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.

My Rating

I was worried that The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by series creator Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham wouldn’t live up to the amazing memories I have of the Veronica Mars television show and, to a lesser degree, the movie that followed. I worried that much of the spunk of the title character was provided by Kristen Bell, and it wouldn’t feel the same without her timing, body language, and facial expressions.

I was, for the most part, very wrong. It probably helps that I have a firm picture of all the characters in my head from watching the series, but the characters in The Thousand Dollar Tan Line all felt just as real (and amusing) as they did in the seasons that I gobbled greedily after my wife turned me onto the series years after it was over.

cover of the Veronica Mars movie

The book starts where movie left off – give or take a few months. Little Veronica is all grown up, but she’s still got an itch (no, not that kind of itch, you pervert) for crime solving. She’s working for her dear, old dad, Keith Mars, and dealing with a crooked sheriff, co-eds on spring break, and a whole lot of dirty dealing from everyone in town. Hired to find a missing college girl, Veronica quickly sniffs along the trail and finds herself in a bigger mess than she has ever dealt with before.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line gets  four of five stars for a great story, a killer ending, and that fun, thrilling Veronica Mars vibe that I have grown to love. I highly recommend it to anyone who liked the series or the movie, or those who just like a satisfying mystery.

This is book #10 on my quest to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.


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