I loved Veronica Mars the tv show (or as I like to call it “Other Buffy”). I went through the heartbreak of season 3 being canceled without resolving a major storyline and donated to the crowdfunding of the movie with glee. I vaguely knew that Rob Thomas had written fictional books before or after the series and the thought randomly popped into my head the other day. Realizing that books existed that continued the story post-movie, I devoured both in a few days.
Jumping back into the Neptune universe in book form made me appreciate the sharpness of the writing all over again. Even without Kristen Bell’s biting delivery, the dialog is so good that like Buffy or the very best standup comedy, it stays with you and eventually changes the way you talk. How many times have I referred to my “over-the-moon” face? A lot.
Freed from the tv format, these books feel less like short, standalone mysteries and more like a half-season of the show on their own. “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” follows a case of missing girls in Neptune over spring break and “Mr. Kiss and Tell” has Mars chasing a serial rapist. Even after following the show, the plot twists can still surprise me and speculation is half the fun. All the old charaters (Mac, Wallace, Keith, Clifford Brown, Leo, heck even Norris Clayton from that one episode) are back as well as some new ones: jackass Sherriff Dan Lamb (total confusing mindfuck for the first few pages as there was an old character named Don Lamb) as Veronica’s foil and Petra Landos, an ex-lingerie model turned real estate and business mogul who hires Veronica to protect her interests.
There are also major developments in the story of the Mars family and Veronica’s romantic life, but I won’t spoil them. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, I would start there but these two books are a must for fans. I know Thomas must be busy with iZombie and all but I hope he writes another.