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The Thousand Dollar Tan Line: A Veronica Mars novel for fans and newbies alike

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The Thousand Dollar Tan Line


Over the past year, “Veronica Mars” has been making headlines. Originally airing for three seasons from 2004 – 2007, the show chronicled the adventures of a teenage private detective in the seedy paradise of Neptune, California. Although it boasted meager ratings, “Veronica Mars” was a critical darling and developed a massive cult following by the end of its run. Fans campaigned for years first for a fourth season and then for a feature film. Finally, in 2013, the stars aligned; thanks to a fan-funded Kickstarter campaign, the original cast and crew reunited to produce the sequel that brought Veronica back to Neptune. The Spring 2014 release received rave reviews from fans (fondly known as “Marshmallows”) all over the world, leaving them hungry for more “Veronica.”

While there’s no word as of yet whether or not a second film is in the works, creator Rob Thomas and author Jennifer Graham found another way to whet fan appetites; shortly following the premiere of the movie, “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” was published as a novelized continuation of Veronica’s return to Neptune.

The first installment of a new series, “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” picks up a few weeks after the end of the film. Veronica is trying to readjust to life in Neptune and deal with the ramifications of her silver screen escapades. With her father seriously injured and funds running short at Mars Investigations, Veronica takes on the case of a missing spring breaker. She finds herself immersed in a world far more nefarious than expected, and she must juggle drug cartels, organized crime, and her own long-lost mother as she tries to find the young woman…before it is too late.

For Marshmallows, the story will be so fresh and yet so familiar that it has the distinct feel of an episode of the show in its prime. Still, “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” is not a book that will thrill fans of the show alone. While a familiarity with the principal characters certainly makes it easier to slide into the action, the first few chapters take care to exposit the fundamentals with enough nuance that newcomers will easily catch up with veterans. Suspense builds almost imperceptibly, and the plot is so distinctly non-formulaic that each twist and turn feels completely earned. Overall, “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” is a book that is easy to get into, difficult to put down, and a fantastic gateway for future novels in the “Veronica Mars” series.

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