Book Review: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

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.


ashley | My name is Ashley and I am a Marshmallow. I cannot get enough of Veronica Mars. You know this, I keep blogging about it. And tweeting about it. I have watched the TV series numerous times. I contributed to the now-infamous Kickstarter campaign. I saw the much anticipated Veronica Mars Movie on opening night. And the moment I heard that Rob Thomas was writing a series of books picking up from where that movie left off, I pre-ordered my copy. Like with the movie, when I opened The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line for the first time my mind ran in circles repeating the mantra “Please don’t suck, please don’t suck” and thankfully, like the movie, it didn’t.

Laced with subtle nods that true Veronica Mars fans will easily pick up on and fangirl squeal about, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line reads much like an episode of the show. I like to think I’m a seasoned Veronica Mars detective, but in true Rob Thomas style, the story kept me on my toes and as the mystery unfolded, I ended up on a completely different road than I thought I was heading down. That’s what I expect from a novel like this.

With the success of the tv series turned movie, I worry that some people might not take this book seriously. But Thomas was actually an author before he moved into TV, so the transition isn’t so foreign to him and this stands strongly on its own, without all the flashy tie ins.

My only complaint, which in no means is a reflection of the book itself, is that my own mind isn’t half as witty or clever as Veronica and reading her actions, instead of watching them, just isn’t quite the same.