Review No.116 – The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars No.1) – Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Vintage, 2014

Neptune is a Californian resort town of sun, surf and rampant corruption. When a teenage girl disappears amidst the wild partying, the case is at first dismissed by the sheriff, but as public concern mounts a new investigator is brought on board – Neptune’s newest private eye, spiky ex-law student and general anti-authoritarian Veronica Mars. This case is a lifeline for her struggling agency, but the deeper she digs, the uglier the truths she uncovers. And then another girl goes missing…

I don’t know how you would read this without having watched the Veronica Mars TV series and  movie of the same name. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is the first book in the series, but Veronica’s character and most of her relationships have been shaped by previous events and the thick peppering of references and cameos wouldn’t make sense without that context. The style is inconsistent – it does feel like it was written by two people – and the pacing was a little slow, but the mystery was engagingly twisty and for a huge fan of the series, it was a welcome return to Neptune. A sequel, Mr Kiss and Tell, is set for release this October.

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