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

Genre: Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Vintage (March 25, 2014)
How I got this book: Bought
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

From Rob Thomas, the creator of the television series and movie phenomenon Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling mystery series that picks up where the feature film left off. 

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.

In Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas has created a groundbreaking female detective who’s part Phillip Marlowe, part Nancy Drew, and all snark. With its sharp plot and clever twists, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My rating: 4.5/5 Stars Almost perfect. I highly recommend it.


The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is a legit noir mystery novel, complete with a beautiful, wealthy client; a city filled with corruption, danger, and intrigue; and (of course) a cynical, hardboiled detective.  It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Veronica Mars, and this novel incorporates everything I love about the show – great characters, snappy dialogue, and a compelling mystery with twists around every corner.  I could barely put it down!

The only thing I don’t like is that Mac is relegated to the role of sidekick – she deserves more than just being the assistant Veronica orders around.  Even so, fans of the show will love the appearances by many familiar characters, including Wallace, Weevil, Dick, and more.

I have to hand it to the authors: Veronica’s voice is spot on.  I could actually picture the scenes and hear the characters as if watching them on screen.  In a way, this is VM in its truest, most pure form.  I doubt readers who haven’t seen the show will love this book as much as I do, but I think fans – especially those who enjoy crime fiction – will be pleased. I can’t wait for the next installment.


Reading Order:

  1. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
  2. Untitled sequel, expected 2014

About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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