After the movie of Veronica Mars was released, pleasing it’s diehard fans, it’s limited release left the possibility of a sequel unlikely. Creator Rob Thomas, with writer Jennifer Graham co-wrote two novels to continue Veronica’s adventures.
Rob Thomas has confirmed the books are canon to the series and film, which will not be negated in any future continuation. Which, in fairness he stuck to his word, as Season 4 includes a character, police chief Marcia Langdon, who was introduced in the books and a subplot involving Weevil’s character in the second book plays a crucial role to his relationship with Veronica in Season 4. Also Veronica gets a new dog called Pony in the second book, which we get to see in Season 4.
The books do a fantastic job at capturing the witty tone of the show from the description and the dialogue. All the characters' mannerisms and speech patterns were perfectly captured. I could easily picture Kristen Bell and all of her co-stars as I was reading them.
They are definitely more in line with the movie’s more mature tone and less of the teen comedy aspects of the TV show. However the writing style is simple and laidback, which makes it accessible for young teenagers to enjoy.
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
Picking up right where the film left off, Veronica and her friend Mac have taken over Mars Investigations, while Keith is recovering from his injuries. A teenage girl goes missing from a party during Spring Break and the house she goes missing from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties.
The mystery starts off a little bit boring, but it gets interesting with some intense scenes and a double twist I didn’t see coming. It also leads Veronica to be unexpectedly reunited with someone from her past. It certainly was a great moment for Veronica’s character, even if she did seem a little more forgiving than I would expect her to be.
Unfortunately Logan is largely absent due to serving in the Navy and Wallace only gets one scene of substance. Mac gets plenty of stuff to do however, I really enjoy Veronica’s partnership with her, even though I preferred Wallace.
Keith doesn’t get to do much because he’s still recovering from his injuries from the events of the movie. However his disapproval of Veronica giving up her new life in New York to resort to being a P.I. again was interesting enough to keep the father-daughter relationship present.
Mr. Kiss And Tell
The Neptune Grand hotel hires Veronica to disprove a woman’s accusation that she was brutally assaulted in one of their rooms and left for dead by one of their staff. The case is not easy, the accused staff member is not in the country, surveillance shows the woman entering the hotel but not leaving and the woman turns out to be Grace Manning, the younger sister of Veronica’s friend Meg (who died in the bus crash in Season 2).
I enjoyed this book even more than the first, I found the mystery to be more engaging and Veronica’s reunion with Grace is a major callback to ‘Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner’, which is one of the best episodes of the show. The scenes with Veronica and Grace are pretty compelling and go in directions you wouldn’t expect.
There’s also a great subplot that involves Keith and Weevil building a case against the corrupt police department, due to events from the movie. Its conclusion is fitting to the tone of the show and leaves consequences that carry over into Season 4.
Logan is back this time and the book delves deeper into his downward spiral, and that joining the Navy helped save his life. Veronica and Logan’s relationship has always been complex and this investigates it further than before.
It would’ve been nice if these books had been adapted into films or a miniseries, I would’ve loved to have seen the actors play out these stories. But I’m happy to count them in continuity with the whole franchise; they have solid mysteries and great moments of development for our main characters.
Like the movie, you don’t necessarily have to watch the show or even the movie to enjoy the books; they nicely fill in any gaps for readers who are unfamiliar with them.
Written by Jack Parish