Jonesing for more stories about your favorite P.I.? Well you’re in luck. Veronica Mars (2): An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: Mr. Kiss and Tell, the second post-Veronica Mars-movie novel, is now available in Kindle, paperback, and audiobook formats.
Picking up a few months after The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, Mr. Kiss and Tell really benefits from the now familiar present-tense Neptune setting. There’s really no exposition or setup beyond the first chapter, which acts as a cold open to the case at hand. Otherwise it’s back to a comfortable status-quo of Veronica and Keith working together to solve crimes and Veronica and Logan trying to navigate their always-complicated relationship. The rest of your favorites, Mac, Wallace, Weevil, Leo, and Cliff McCormack are back too.
For anyone wishing the last book had more Veronica and Logan moments, you won’t be disappointed this time around. With Logan back on dry land, Mr. Kiss and Tell has the opportunity to explore what an everyday ‘normal’ adult relationship looks like between the two. And in one particularly great scene, we finally get a bit more insight into how and why Logan got his act together and joined the military. In my opinion, it was much needed backstory. It’s pretty easy to figure out what the other characters have been up to for the last ten years, but Logan’s always been a bit more inscrutable.
Narratively, two cases make up the backbone of Mr. Kiss and Tell. Keith takes point on the one involving Weevil and the ongoing corruption at the Neptune Sheriff’s department and Veronica’s case ties into the book’s title. I’m not about to spoil anything so read the book if you’d like to find out more. I’ll give you this much though, the first works to pay off the Sheriff Dan Lamb storyline from the movie and previous novel, while the second acts as more of the ‘case of the week’ with the added bonus of more familiar faces from the TV series.
Overall I think I enjoyed this book more than the first. To me it felt more like a normal entry in the Veronica Mars verse, but maybe that’s simply because I’ve had time to adjust to the post-TV series time jump. However, I did have one qualm with Mr. Kiss and Tell. I was uncomfortable with how single-mindedly Veronica went after her primary suspect. Her willingness to work so far outside of the law into order to solve the case and get justice just didn’t sit well with me. I kept thinking, what if that’s not really the guy. And maybe it’s just because I wasn’t seeing it acted out in front of me, Kristen Bell undoubtedly balances steely resolve with ‘doing the right thing’ well, but on paper it came off vengeful, and not in a fun ‘she’s a marshmallow’ kind of way. But you may read it differently.
Overall I still highly recommend Mr. Kiss and Tell. The cases are interesting, you get a few really enjoyable moments with each character, and there’s an excellent running gag about that pony Veronica always wanted.
Already read it, what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.