Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (from Goodreads):
From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.
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 not a 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.
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Mystery Read 2017
Series: Veronica Mars
Author: Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
# of Books: 2 (The Thousand Dollar Tan Line; Mr. Kiss and Tell)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: Third Person, Single
Publication Dates: March 2014 – January 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
While I didn’t watch Veronica Mars during its initial airing (long story but I missed the premiere and this was before the days of easy internet streaming) but I marathoned the entire series just before the movie came out and LOVED IT!
The wit, the intelligent writing and the amazing characters: there’s a lot to love about this series! So I was really excited to see that the creator of the show was writing series novels because who better to write a spin-off series than the visionary himself?
When I started my new job, I wanted to start listening to audiobooks during my commute and I thought what better than a novel set in a world I am already familiar with? It also didn’t hurt that mystery/thrillers were my current obsession at the time and so I decided to give The Thousand Dollar Tan Line a shot.
The Concept / Time Line:
These books take place a couple months after the movie (and the movie takes place 10 years after the TV series ends). Which is great because it ties up some of those lingering questions you likely had at the end of the movie. I felt like I got a lot more closure reading these two novels than I did by just watching the movie.
And these books read like you are watching the TV show. Maybe that was just because I was listening to the audiobooks (one is narrated by Kristen Bell herself) but I felt like I was watching the TV show.
In true Veronica Mars fashion, the mystery introduced is rarely cut and dry. There are twists on twists and it’s fabulous. You don’t want to know how many times I freaked out in my car when some plot twists (curious? more than 10 for sure).
The plot is always moving! I thought there was a great balance between the mystery, the character drama and Veronica’s character growth. There’s always something to pique your interest and everything just blends so well together.
Ok, I had so many great fangirl moments reading this series. There are so many returning characters that I freaked out many times. I adore all of these characters, but Veronica especially. She’s such a strong and independent female lead. I love her wit but I also love how she doesn’t take shit from anyone.
I don’t want to spoil this but this was one of the many reasons for my fangirling 😉
OK, this series made me fall in love with fiction audiobooks!
I started my first ever fiction #audiobook today and am loving it!
Veronica Mars is always a good choice ❤️
— Lauren (@SERIESousBooks) March 7, 2017
I love that Kristen Bell (Veronica) narrates the first novel. It made me feel like I was watching the TV show and immediately got me comfortable with the story. She also does an AMAZING job when she narrates the other characters. She manages to capture their personalities in her delivery and it’s perfect!
Unfortunately, the second book wasn’t narrated by Kristen Bell (I think she was pregnant at the time) so I missed the true Veronica sass but the narrator did a great job of bringing the characters to life.
Series Rating: 4.5/5
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line 5/5 | Mr Kiss and Tell 4/5
I will say, I think it helps if you are familiar with the series in some complicity but the mystery is great regardless and I think if you aren’t a fan before you start this, you will be when you finish!
Read if You Like: Veronica Mars, thrillers, strong heroines
Avoid if You: dislike modern mysteries, crime
- Size 12 Isn’t Fat by Meg Cabot (Heather Wells Series #1)
- City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong (Casey Duncan Series #1)
I marathoned the series when I heard about the movie getting a Kickstarter too! It’s one of my all time favourites. I’ve been thinking about reading the books for ages, but they’ve never been top of my list. I’m thinking I’ll listen to the audiobook that Kristen Bell narrated and read the other one? I don’t know. But I’m so ready for the fangirl moments!
Oh man, the narration with Kristen is just like listening to an episode but having no visual in front of you. It’s fabulous for fans!