Due to the fact that my phone can only hold one audiobook at a time (because of it being a classic/antiquated/having buttons), I had to put aside The Thousand Dollar Tan Line for a while after I started it, at least until I had finished The Two Towers.
Once we were back in business, though, I just listened to it pretty much straight through, lending only one ear to things like my child and traffic, and even then, only on occasion. Short, punchy chapters, packed with action, twists, and sketchy characters--as well as old favorites.
Many familiar characters make an appearance, though a lot of them only get a cameo. I think Weevil's drama is being saved for the next movie or something, and Logan is relegated to a couple of awkward video chats. (I like this--that relationship is huge and messy and I feel like it would be too much to ask of the book to flesh it out, unless the personal stuff was going to be the focus.) Dick shows up at some pivotal moments, and there are some really nice moments with Veronica and Keith and Veronica and Wallace. Mac is present throughout, and Cliff (her dad's lawyer friend) gets a nice cameo. Sheriff Lamb, Jr. is, of course, a major antagonist.
You can tell Rob Thomas did some real writing here, because the dialogue is SO Veronica Mars perfect. But I give a lot of credit to Jennifer Graham (whom I haven't read), because the plot of a mystery novel has to be more complicated than a movie or episode of a TV show, but less string-alongy than a seasonal story arc. The pacing here is just right, and I was surprised at several points in the story. One of the investigative lines did sort of peter out in a way that I wish it hadn't, though--there was a lot of potential there.
Anyway, the best part--absolutely, hands down best--was Kristen Bell's audio performance. Listen to the sample here, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you listen to this book. Her performance is amazing. It's like Veronica is RIGHT THERE. I know, I know. But her Mac, he Wallace, her Keith are all just so perfect at capturing them without imitations. Her bit part characters are wonderfully fleshed out and distinct. There are a few voices she doesn't quite get as dead on--Logan is one--but even those are as good as anything I've heard from another voice actor.
I love Kristen Bell--LOVE--and Veronica Mars, and I hope like anything
that they'll make another movie, or a revived TV series, or webisodes.
And heck, definitely more audiobooks. In fact, look! The next novel, Mr. Kiss and Tell, is coming out this fall!
You can bet I'll be on Audible on release day. Strike that--I'll be checking the website periodically until it's possible for me to preorder it.
I love you, Kristen. Do you wanna build a snowman? Or feed my new pet sloth?