This review contains spoilers for the film, tv show, and book. BEWARE SPOILERS.
I got an advanced readers copy of this before it came out so I definitely beat the rush, but unfortunately am just now giving it a review.
I’ll have to say the mystery itself was amazing and better executed than the first of this series by Rob Thomas. Thousand Dollar Tan Line falls short for me for a variety of reasons, mostly because the mystery isn’t as fleshed out or as compelling. The only frustration I had with Mr. Kiss and Tell was when Veronica hits brick walls her first reaction is apathy and call it quits which isn’t really in line with Veronica’s persuasive and downright tenacious attitude. Although I will give him credit, this is the first time Rob Thomas shows the realities of detective work and hitting what feels like dead ends.
In terms of character, I’m just going to go down the list:
1) I hated what they did to Weevil’s character. It’s so TV Weevil and not who the movie and first book develops him into becoming. In the show Weevil was often that character that would save the day or bail and you could never tell which one he was going to pick. It was part criminal and part anti-hero and it worked for the context of high school Neptune where Weevil often wants to do the right thing, but also understands the realities of the world at large. However, in the movie (2014) he’s painted as a great dad who overcomes his biker life of crime in favor of owning his own business and protecting his family. And while he does go back and join the biker gang at the end of the film and the first book, he still does what’s right in the end and manages to tread that fine line he wasn’t capable of in the show. Then the second book has him throwing it all down the drain.
2) Mac as her assistant brought back nostalgia of their older sleuthing days. Her hacking skills would have been wasted on the Kane company and I honestly couldn’t ever see Mac working for individuals so corrupt with her consistent socially conscious ideals. And who doesn’t love Wallace’s timeless shtick of “I can’t believe you have me doing this”?
3) The greater depth given to Logan’s character was a nice development. His commitment to the military and his duty to serve were both unexpected but greatly welcomed, and it creates a delicious dilemma for Veronica as she sorts out the difficulties of being in a relationship with someone who is constantly in danger and often times away defending others. Logan in the beginning was such a contrast to Piz because he was a rude richboy who was pretty far removed from reality, whereas Piz was always passive, respectful and ultimately understood the classism happening in Season 3. Logan eventually grows up in between the time the show and movie takes place and becomes a less morally grey character. Likewise Veronica is given a taste of her own medicine. Piz and likewise Logan too have constantly worried about her safety taking down hardened criminals and being in dicey situations, but does Veronica know what it’s like to worry for someone like that other than her dad (who for the most part, as any child does, views as invincible and untouchable)? Overall, I really enjoyed how they’ve developed Logan over time.
4) Likewise I’ve really enjoyed Veronica and Keith grappling with the father daughter working dynamic. Veronica is always so headstrong and Keith just wants to protect her like any dad would, but now that she’s a partner in his business they’ve had to iron out the wrinkles of establishing boundaries and it’s been interesting to read.
This is a great little paperback you can pick up and finish leisurely or all in one sitting. Grab a copy here!