Normally, I take a couple days (weeks) between when I finish a book and when I write the review. Mostly, this is a timing issue, but it’s also a mulling period. Sometimes, I just like to get some distance from what I’ve read to really figure out how I feel about it. This is not the case with Thomas’ first Veronica Mars novel (this book actually has two authors, but I’m going to refer to Thomas because it’s easier). Do I really need to take that much time to think about a bunch of characters I already know I love and a writing style that I already know I’m sold on? Nope. I literally closed the book on this one minutes before I started writing this. I am a huge fan of the Veronica Mars franchise, so this is a totally biased review. Remember when I listed my favourite minor characters? You can only do that if you’ve spent enough time with the show to know the minor characters off the top of your head. I love the tv show. I love the movie. I rewatch both of them all the time. I even love the spotty, uneven third season and its strange twist on the theme song (which I did not hate – even though everyone else seemed to). I’ll give most of Thomas’ projects a chance (go watch Party Down, just do it). However, I was hesitant to go into the books. I tend to shy away from the spin off books for series I like – they’re rarely relevant to the story and often end up confusing the cannon. I only decided to pick up this book because a friend of mine who also loves the Mars family had read it and said it was worth it.
I trust her opinion on books basically 100% of the time. This one was no different. Because the mythos of this world is so ingrained on my fangirlness, it was easy to jump right into the story. I didn’t need to get to know the characters or the town and its cast of characters. It made some of the world building a little annoying, but new fans are good fans and they need this info. The novel picks up just months after the movie ended – if you’re planning to read the book, you must watch the movie first. It’s crucial to the story, especially if you watched the tv show. Also, if you haven’t read the book yet, stop reading reviews before you read the book, that’s just a silly order to do things in (cough cough spoilers). So, Veronica and Logan have gotten back together, but he’s in the Navy and he’s off at sea for the entirety of this novel. At first, I was a little sadface, no Logan girl, but as I kept reading, I realized it was nice to have a Logan free storyline. That hasn’t happened since what, first season? Logan and Veronica are delightful, but they often steal the thunder of the mystery. I wanted a good, noir style read. Dark alleys, girls in ice machines, stolen art, seedy motels, rich dudes gone bad. And that’s exactly what I got – not exactly, but close enough.
Veronica agrees to take a case to help the Neptune City Council fix their tourist problem when a young girl goes missing during spring break. She has to work in conjunction with the corrupt and seriously challenging Sherriff Lamb – brought to life so perfectly by Jerry O’Connell – and has to find her way around his obstacles. Mac has left her job with the devil, I mean Kane Software, and is now Mars Investigations resident background information gatherer. But money is tight, and before this job comes along, Veronica isn’t sure how much longer she’ll be able to keep the doors open. As loathe as she may be to work with Lamb, this is the only way she know to keep things going while her dad recovers. Continue reading