Friday, 20 February 2015
#CBR7 Book 17: "Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell" by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Rating: 4 stars
Disclaimer! I was given an ARC of this through NetGalley in return for a fair and unbiased review.
Readers should be aware that this is the second book of Veronica Mars mysteries. Readers should probably watch the movie (it's on Netflix) and read the first book before reading this. If you're not caught up, there will be spoilers in the review below.
Veronica Mars is hired by the insurance agents for the Neptune Grand, to prove that one of the hotel's staff members didn't assault a young woman and leave her for dead. The investigation is complicated by the fact that the crime happened several months earlier (around the same time Veronica was busy trying to locate kidnapped girls in The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line), the victim claims not to remember the events clearly and refuses to reveal who she was at the hotel to meet the night of the attack, the hotel refuses to share their reservations list and the accused attacker has been deported to Mexico. Never one to back down from a challenge, Veronica nonetheless throws herself into the case with her customary determination.
While Veronica is being recruited by high profile clients, Keith Mars and Cliff McCormack are trying to hit the Neptune Sheriff's Department where it hurts by helping Eli "Weevil" Navarro with a lawsuit. As Sheriff Lamb is busy trying to get himself re-elected, and there's a promising new candidate running against him, so the victory isn't automatic, the case building against the department could be very damaging.
On the home front, Veronica is trying to get used to living with Logan, who is home on shore leave. While she's firm in her decision that she wants to be a P.I., not a lawyer, she's having more trouble accepting that the US Air Force seems to be where Logan has really found his calling. He's taking Arabic lessons and all signs point to him wanting to go back on active duty, a prospect that scares hell out of Veronica.
If I can't have more Veronica on my TV, I'm really happy that the Kickstarter funds helped get these books created. The characters feel just as real as they were on the show, and Neptune is as authentic a location on the page as it was on my screen. I've seen several reviews complain that while the previous book barely had any Logan, this book was very light on Wallace. That complaint is a fair one, but as Wallace pretty much stole every scene he actually did get to be in, I still felt he played an important part and as always provided Veronica with much needed support in her mystery solving.
With Veronica and Logan's relationship being so passionate and stormy, and frequently quite toxic in TV show, it's both strange and wonderful to see that both characters have matured and grown up and now finally seem ready for a stable life together. I very much enjoyed the scenes of their domesticity, and while I can sympathise with Veronica's fears and worries about Logan going back on active duty in the Gulf, the book very clearly explains why being an Air Force pilot isn't just some adrenaline kick or game for Logan, but something that saved him when he was spiralling out of control. It's a vocation and something that gives his life meaning and purpose, just as Veronica's detective work is a vital part of who she is.
I really liked that the mystery takes Veronica several months to solve and the book clearly showed that it requires a lot of leg work, frustrating investigation, countless dead ends, patience and determination to solve a case like this. As always, spending time with the established cast from the show is great. The new sheriff's candidate, with her ties to Keith's past was also an intriguing additon to the cast. I really hope we get many more books about everyone's favourite tiny blonde P.I.
Crossposted on Cannonball Read.