Veronica Mars 2: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Mr. Kiss and Tell is a true gift to Veronica Mars fans – a novel that reads exactly like an episode, chock full of nearly every character we’ve come across at Neptune High and with an overall mystery arc and several personal arcs to solve. Plenty of twists and turns, LoVe angst, and crooked sheriff Lambs for everyone.

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Story: Taking place after the previous book (and after the movie), 29 year old Veronica has partnered with her father in the PI business. When she is asked by a client to take on a case for the Neptune Grand Hotel, which is being sued over a rape case a year previous, Veronica will have to face her own past as well as recognize that she is an ‘all or nothing’ kind of girl. Unfortunately, so is Logan. While Mac secretly continues investigating her biological parents, Weevil is embroiled in the Celeste Kane armed robbery trial, Keith is still reeling after the accident that killed Deputy Sacks, And Wallace just wants to be a sports coach and not Veronica’s tool. A lot of stories begun in the movie are finalized here in a very satisfying fashion.

What makes this a 5-start book is that the author/serious creator have written a story that very much speaks with all the ticks and nuances given to the characters by the actors. These aren’t the script Veronica, Logan, etc., – these are the actors giving them life but now in written form. Especially Keith Mars as played by Rico Colantani, all the pauses, quips, and witty bon mots are dropped with casual aplomb straight from the tv show.

I admittedly found the movie disappointing – it seemed more like the actors had forgotten their characters and were just coasting through in movie cameos. But it’s all back in this book and well worth the read. I wish this had been the movie, to be honest, since the story is stronger.

Be prepared for MANY wonderful Easter Eggs for Veronica Mars fans. Off hand references to episodes, minor characters and more. You won’t need to have an encyclopedic memory of the show – but obviously the more you know, the better the book reads. Neither author is coasting and this feels almost like the last book in the series – bringing all the characters in for a final mystery (which also involves several past characters) and with a definitive ending. If it ends here, it won’t be a bad thing.

In all, there is a lot to love for VM fans. I honestly wouldn’t recommend it for non fans, though, since there are so many tv-show references and characters that won’t fit into the bigger puzzle unless you saw the show.

Reviewed from an advance readers copy provided by the publisher.

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