Book Review | The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Published by Vintage Books

Genres: Adult, Mystery, Crime

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Source: Gift


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.


I discovered the Veronica Mars television show thanks to Amazon Prime a couple years ago, and I was really excited to hear that the show’s creator was releasing a book series as well. This first book in the series picks up where the movie left off, but there is a quick recap of the movie’s events for those who are fuzzy on the details or, like me, haven’t seen it yet. Veronica is living in her hometown of Neptune, California and is taking over the family private investigation firm while her father is recovering from an accident. She gets hired to find a teenage girl who mysteriously disappeared during spring break.

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line reads just like an episode of the Veronica Mars television show, which is perfect for fans. I was surprised that the book is written in the third person, as I would have expected Veronica to be a first person narrator. Nonetheless, the writing is good, and has that somewhat cheesy flair that makes Veronica Mars so lovable even when crazy things are happening in the story.

In addition, I really liked the plot of this book. It kept my attention for the entirety of the story, and there were logical twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I also really loved the family drama in this book. I’m a sucker for a good family drama, and while that wasn’t the main focus of this novel, it certainly played a role.

My only critique of The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line besides the fact that Veronica isn’t the narrator is that many of my favorite side characters from the Veronica Mars world weren’t in the book as much as I would like. For example, because Keith is recovering from his accident, he isn’t as prevalent in this story as he typically is in an episode of the show. I’m hoping we get to see more from him, Wallace, Logan, and Mac in the next book!

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book and loved being back with Veronica. I highly recommend this book for fans of Veronica Mars. If you are unfamiliar with the show, you can still read this book, but you might be a bit confused with the characters and the past events that are sometimes mentioned. Nonetheless, this is a great mystery novel, and one that I think is perfect for newbies to the genre. It is very character driven, and not as scary as other mysteries. I think you should give it a try!


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