Customer Reviews: Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
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on March 25, 2014
Picks almost right up from where the movie left off. Veronica has put back on the private eye hat but the cases aren't exactly piling up, plus her dad, coming off of his physical therapy still isn't thrilled with her career choice.

Neptune is in the middle of its lucrative spring break season when a student is reported missing. The local Chamber of Commerce comes to Veronica to solve the case when Sheriff Lamb is his usual incompetent self. She's in the middle of retracing the missing girl's last known whereabouts (a luxurious, elaborate party thrown every night by mysterious hosts) when a second girl goes missing, a teenager with unexpected ties to Veronica's own past.

The book does a fine job of further exploring Veronica's relationship with her father and her closest friends, her faults and her strengths as investigator and brings to Veronica an opportunity for some unexpected closure to her life. Plus a twisty mystery.

I'm ready for the next book please.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 20, 2015
Mr. Kiss and Tell is a true gift to Veronica Mars fans - a novel that reads exactly like an episode, chock full of nearly every character we've come across at Neptune High and with an overall mystery arc and several personal arcs to solve. Plenty of twists and turns, LoVe angst, and crooked sheriff Lambs for everyone.

Story: Taking place after the previous book (and after the movie), 29 year old Veronica has partnered with her father in the PI business. When she is asked by a client to take on a case for the Neptune Grand Hotel, which is being sued over a rape case a year previous, Veronica will have to face her own past as well as recognize that she is an 'all or nothing' kind of girl. Unfortunately, so is Logan. While Mac secretly continues investigating her biological parents, Weevil is embroiled in the Celeste Kane armed robbery trial, Keith is still reeling after the accident that killed Deputy Sacks, And Wallace just wants to be a sports coach and not Veronica's tool. A lot of stories begun in the movie are finalized here in a very satisfying fashion.

What makes this a 5-start book is that the author/serious creator have written a story that very much speaks with all the ticks and nuances given to the characters by the actors. These aren't the script Veronica, Logan, etc., - these are the actors giving them life but now in written form. Especially Keith Mars as played by Rico Colantani, all the pauses, quips, and witty bon mots are dropped with casual aplomb straight from the tv show.

I admittedly found the movie disappointing - it seemed more like the actors had forgotten their characters and were just coasting through in movie cameos. But it's all back in this book and well worth the read. I wish this had been the movie, to be honest, since the story is stronger.

Be prepared for MANY wonderful Easter Eggs for Veronica Mars fans. Off hand references to episodes, minor characters and more. You won't need to have an encyclopedic memory of the show - but obviously the more you know, the better the book reads. Neither author is coasting and this feels almost like the last book in the series - bringing all the characters in for a final mystery (which also involves several past characters) and with a definitive ending. If it ends here, it won't be a bad thing.

In all, there is a lot to love for VM fans. I honestly wouldn't recommend it for non fans, though, since there are so many tv-show references and characters that won't fit into the bigger puzzle unless you saw the show.

Reviewed from an advance readers copy provided by the publisher.
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on March 28, 2014
I WANT to love this, I do. I am a huge Marshmellow, I funded on Kickstarter I own all the seasons of the show. I've watched the movie 5 times already. I LOVE Veronia Mars. I was sure I would give this 5 stars.

It isn't that the book is bad. I think that perhaps the problem, for me, is that it just reads so much like the script .pdf for the movie. The voices I hear, as I read this are those of the characters--but there is a certain hollowness. There is so much potential for these books, I just think it was a miss (mostly). This is a chance to pick up readers who will go back and experience the show for the first time...but unlike the novels I normally read I don't see it standing alone or being engaging to those who don't already "know" these characters.

The plot is decent, it reads like a normal episode, and the writing for the show as always brilliant--with perhaps a lot less snark than used to be normal--but with the usual complexity, while staying true to the character's tone and personality. I just find it missing something I can't place my finger on.

It is entirely possible that it is the lack of Logan's presence that is part of my perception that this is a miss...or a big part of the "why". The dynamic between the two has always been a big part of what works for the show.

I pre-ordered this novel, and I will do so with the next one. I still think was worth the money to read. I just have much higher hopes for the next one. I still find it to be a gift that this lives on, and I hope for more real life installments of the show/movie. It is not a bad book, I just know that Rob has a better book in him. I've already seen how amazing he can be...these books can be just as good.
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on January 20, 2015
This review was first published at M's Bookshelf -

"It's everything you would expect from a Veronica Mars case. It has so many unexpected twists and turns, but more importantly: it has Veronica Mars. I mean, how fantastic is she? (...) there really was no awkward transition from page to screen", is what I wrote after reading the first VMars book, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line and every word of it is true for Mr. Kiss and Tell as well. I think I might like Mr. Kiss and Tell better - didn't expect that was even a possibility.
I had my fingers crossed for more Logan Echolls in book II, and Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham delivered beautifully. Just like Veronica, I have difficulty at times getting used to this "grown up Logan", but I'm still TEAM LOGAN all the way. They seem to fit better than ever and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them (so yes, I am expecting a third novel, Rob).
Not only do we get to see some brilliant Mars-detective work, we also see the wonderful Mac in action. Add some public humiliation for the Sheriff's department and Lamb and we've got a winner!
The case Veronica is working on seems to have more questions than answers, but Veronica doesn't let go. She feels responsible for the victim and she's not planning on stopping before the perp is behind bars. It's an incredibly thrilling case with a lot of loose ends, an elusive perp and a victim who's full of surprises herself, again set in Neptune where the class -war and corruption are the daily reality. But will there be a change soon?
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on January 22, 2015
NOTE: Thanks to Knopf Doubleday for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book (via NetGalley). My review reflects my honest opinion of and experience with the book and was not influenced by receiving the book for free from the publisher.

Mr. Kiss and Tell begins a few months after the events of The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Keith Mars is back on his feet and Veronica has moved into her own place, which she is sharing with a certain gentleman named Logan. (Gentleman you say? Since when? Since this book! It's like he's a grown up or something.) Her work on the case of the missing spring breakers in book one has earned her some elite friends and leads to her being hired to investigate an accusation of rape, on the grounds of the Neptune Grand Hotel, against one of its employees. The victim in this case is Grace Manning, Meg Manning's little sister who fans of the show will remember - she of the abusive religious zealot parents. The case turns out to be much larger in scope than it originally appears. At the same time Keith and Cliff have teamed up with Weevil to sue the Neptune police department for corruption.

It's hard to say too much about this book without spoiling a lot of the mystery but I'll give it a shot. This book doesn't have as many twists and turns of the first book but the mystery is still engrossing. It deals with sexual assault and since Veronica herself was a victim of rape, she is at her most fierce and determined. She finds herself wrestling with her code of honor and struggling to stay on the right side of the law. In the end, the way the case is resolved is clever and very satisfying.

The mystery is just one part of the book however. A chunk of the narrative is devoted to the fight against the corruption in the Neptune police department; there are even a few scenes that are from Keith's perspective. In the end there are some very interesting developments that should spice up future books. Another upside of this storyline is that we get a little time with Weevil.

There is also some space devoted to Veronica and Logan so LoVe fans (as I am) will be happy but its not overwhelming so if your not a fan, it shouldn't detract. Their interactions are very fun and the issues when they arise (as they ALWAYS do) are mature and make sense. Interestingly, it is Veronica that is perhaps not being fair and not dealing well and I actually appreciated this approach. She thinks little of her own safety in her impulsive rush for justice but she is fiercely protective of those she loves so her difficulty is understandable.

As hinted at above, the characterizations, the storytelling, the atmosphere continue to be spot on and fans of the show will undoubtedly enjoy this. However, while I thought book one could have been interesting for someone who hasn't watched the show or movie, this second installment I don't think would work as well. The Weevil storyline and the crusade against the police department, the victim being connected to Meg Manning, and all the history between Veronica and Logan all link back heavily to the show and movie - it's all explained but a non-fan would probably still feel they'd been dropped into the middle of something and miss some nuances.

FINAL VERDICT: This continues the book series strongly. I devoured it and will be anxiously awaiting book three!
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on March 25, 2014
As a hardcore Veronica Mars fan that watched the series religiously when it aired (with repeat viewings too many times to count afterwards) and a kickstarter backer, how could I not love it?! I cannot even express what a thrill it is to be brought back to this world. I am still pinching myself in disbelief!

The book was a fun, fast read...maybe too fast. I sure wish it were longer. It felt like being transported back to season 1, except with a more adult feel. The book takes place two and a half months from when the movie ends which initially really disappointed me since naturally I made the (correct) assumption that there would hardly be any Logan in it. Logan is my favorite character in the VM universe so I really felt his absence in this book. There wasn't quite enough to satisfy me, but I soaked up any reference to him and all of his too brief appearances in the book anyway. I was tempted to give the book 4 stars over 5 for this reason alone, but I still just loved it so much and am still on such a VM high so 5 stars it is! Also, I know that a second book will be following so I am holding out all hope that Logan will feature more prominently in the next book.

I found the characterizations and their voices to be spot on. I thought the mystery was fun and compelling. And the surprise appearances in the book and the call backs to the series were awesome. I basically just smiled and felt giddy the whole way through! I have read that some were disappointed that the book was in third person instead of first, but I was not. The third person narrative really worked in my opinion and I did not feel distanced from Veronica in any way as some may have feared. In fact, it still utilizes her first person "voiceovers" by giving us italicized text in the first person. It worked just like the show did since Veronica can't be all knowing and omnipresent so obviously, third person narrative was the best way to go.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about Veronica Mars in book form, but it turns out that I can be just as engrossed and invested in it as I was in the tv show. Sure, I would definitely love more movies and/or a television/netflix series, but I would also be happy with just more books since I enjoyed this one so very much. I just don't ever want to get off the VM train!!! But, please, more Logan! I can forgive this first book, but will be so unbearably sad if the next book (or books, please! would love more than just one more) don't give me more Logan.
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on April 12, 2014
Despite the stellar reviews from VERONICA MARS fans who are understandably glad to have any book at all, this is a major disappointment. The best way to experience it is the audio book read by Kristen Bell herself, and I would give her the full five stars and more -- she does a lovely job, particularly in suggesting the voices of recurring characters. Those characters, however, are given short shrift by Graham (Rob Thomas could not have had much to do with this), giving them almost nothing to do except appear in a handful of walk-ons, and the couple of Logan Skype scenes are embarrassing. Starting with the almost meaningless and ungainly title, the novel is over-written and always gives us three details where one would do, and indulges throughout in a painful introspection on Veronica's part, telling where showing would be better. The re-introduction of a character from the series -- a major one that never really gelled on the show -- does give the narrative some weight in the Mars world, but it's not enough and isn't terribly convincing. The real disaster -- and this comes across in Bell's reading -- is the terrible decision to tell the story in third-person, even though Veronica is on stage for everything but a needless prologue. Real VERONICA MARS is first-person, in the grand Raymond Chandler tradition. Telling this convoluted but negligible story in third-person makes it seem even less like the show or the movie than it already does. There is a definite YA feel to this, and not in a good way -- Veronica thinks and acts like a teenager, when she is a law school graduate of at least 28. She should be a woman, not a girl. The most painful example of this is her girly girly reaction to her father's request that she carry a revolver and learn how to use it. Suddenly tough girl Veronica -- who a scene or two before almost got her throat slit by a drug dealer -- can't handle the notion of shooting a bad guy. Is this really supposed to be Veronica Mars? Whose father used to be sheriff? Who was a private eye through high school, working with her PI father? Who in one episode appeared familiar with firearms? Particularly badly handled are the last scenes, which include Veronica confronting one of the key bad guys, only to have the scene cut off wihout confrontation or excitement, followed by a new chapter with that bad guy being interrogated by the painfully dumb sheriff. An important, potentially strong scene is missing. In the unexciting climax, Veronica behaves stupidly and illogically, not even doing anything to warn her father. Keith Mars, by the way, is largely absent here, the excuse being he's recuperating. I say this as a Kickstarter backer and a fan who drove hundreds of miles to see the new movie in a theater. I so wish this were a good book. It's not terrible. The author puts words together vividly, if without any sense of less is more. Where is the first-person Veronica novel? And where is Veronica?
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on January 21, 2015
There are no words for how much I love Veronica Mars. It is my second most favorite TV show of all time, and the characters are beyond beloved. So naturally, when I found out the series would be continued in novel form I was thrilled. Nervous, but thrilled. Now, my only experience with novels for favorite TV shows are the Charmed and BtVS books, both of which while having entertaining plots never seemed to quite get the voices of the characters right-ergo my nervousness. Thankfully the Veronica Mars novels escaped this issue (probably because Rob Thomas co-writes them). I loved loved loved the first one, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line and while Mr. Kiss and Tell wasn't quite as good it still did an excellent job of staying true to the show.

The voices of the characters are very true to how they've always been portrayed. Veronica and Keith especially maintain their delightful snark and my favorite father/daughter relationship of all time. LoVe gave me all the appropriate feels, from delightful squealing to overwhelming angsty feels (you get some backstory of how Logan ended up in the military and okay DYING FEELS PAIN) to concern and joy. There was a scene in the end chapter that had me ready to murder somebody but thankfully that wasn't necessary because Veronica has grown so much and MY BABIES OKAY. So basically the Logan/Veronica in this book was perfect, A+, all the gold stars. The plot was fantastic and it was fun to see familiar faces pop up.

Really I only had a few quibbles that kept me from fully enjoying the book. I really was not a fan of Weevil's story line and how the lawsuit played out. Maybe it was just me but it seemed very out of character of Weevil to do. Of course book Weevil is not ten years older and people change so maybe it's totally in character for him. EITHER WAY I DIDN'T LIKE IT. I also thought there were some scenes/jokes (particularly one involving Logan and Weevil) that just played off as weird and awkward in book form, where they would have been hilarious onscreen. ALSO NEED MORE WALLACE AND DICK OKAY.

Basically if you like Veronica Mars or things similar, you will like these books.
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on March 25, 2014
I do agree with other comments I've seen about it's a good companion piece to the movie and I loved the movie. I was able to read this book pretty quickly.Still it wasn't....the greatest and that was why it got 4 stars instead of 5. There was the lack, severe lack in my opinion, of Logan. If you've seen the movie you know what he's doing and it's completely understandable that he isn't in every chapter but what was said for him and his interaction with Veronica was really drab. I kind of expected more. Still, it was a good read.
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on May 3, 2014
I desperately wanted to like this. As a continuation of the Mars story line, i was ready to dive head first into it.

But within just a few pages it was so full of errors that I'm not sure how anyone could ignore them.

It was a Beretta planted on Weevil. Not a Glock.

The Car Keith and Sachs was in did NOT explode. Sachs likely died from blunt force trauma, not an explosion. Nor was it a van that hit them.

Keith's injuries, while severe, didn't indicate the brain trauma they're pushing in the book. He did not have trouble speaking when Veronica was in the room with him and his memory certainly didn't appear to be damaged either.

Also, why would Mac just up and quit her job? There's no reason she still couldn't do consulting for Veronica and still have a job, maybe leaving when things got better.

Gia's last name isn't Goodwin either.

Novel tie ins that screw up the facts as we've been given them irk me to no end. Especially when single viewing of the movie could have corrected all of it.

The writing itself was weak... I've read better put together fan fic. I never felt like I was reading these characters I've come to know and love... but some slightly skewed version of them. It felt like the author was just trying too hard. The thing with the series and the movie was that it flowed well... rarely did it feel like either was struggling, specially when it came to dialogue.

Thank God they didn't use this for the movie. I would have been so disappointed.
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