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

Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Vintage
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Movie Tie-In
ISBN: 9780804170703
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Review Written By: Sarah Jameson

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.

First, let me just say that I am so grateful that a Veronica Mars book series has been given to the fans. It is a great extension of the franchise. Veronica Mars fans are so lucky that there is yet another continuation of the storyline. This book takes place about two and a half months after the movie ends. While you don’t HAVE to watch the movie to enjoy the book, I highly recommend it. The book contains a ton of spoilers for the movie (since it takes place after the movie ends). So, if you are planning to read the book then watch the movie I urge to put the book down, watch the movie, and then come back to the book. The book feels like it was created for fans of the show rather than for new fans of the movie. You get to see a lot of old characters that you know and love. I will say if you watched the movie, you’ll know that Logan is still deployed so Veronica-Logan shippers will have to keep waiting for their reunion.

I read this as a mixture of reading the physical book and listening to the audiobook. I was so happy that Kristen Bell narrates the audiobook. It made it so easy for me to visualize her as Veronica. Although I do have to say, she is not the best at creating different voices for different characters. Since Kristen Bell narrates the audiobook, I would have loved to have the book written in first person, however that is not the case. The story is written in third person. Usually I don’t mind third person stories, but this one bothered me. This is partly due to the fact that the show has a voice over of Veronica narrating in first person certain parts to allow viewers to get inside Veronica’s head and to impart new information. Third person made it very difficult to get lost in the story. It keeps the reader one step removed from the story and doesn’t fit with the rest of the franchise.

The book was a little slow for my taste, not enough was happening story wise. It took too much time to find its voice. It felt like the story was being purposely dragged out to fit the length of a book. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. There was still that signature sarcastic wit and snark that is synonymous with the name Veronica Mars. While reading, I was able to visualize all the actors as the characters and it was like having the show play out in my head. Veronica being Veronica of course gets herself into trouble in this book. Just like in the show, the danger that Veronica encounters kept me on the edge of my seat and made me unable to put the book down. You get to see more of the seedy underbelly of Neptune than you ever did in the show. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was so happy to have the book series and I am anxiously awaiting the release of the next book.

Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham is available now.


  1. I'm so excited to read this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Veronica Mars and really enjoyed the movie. I'm shocked to hear it is in third person and a little disappointed to hear that it is slow. Hopefully, book 2 will bring it. 🙂