Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2)
By: Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman’s story.
The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why?
I read the first novel last year, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (review), and really enjoyed it. I think I expressed some dismay last year either here or on Twitter when I found out that this book’s release date was pushed back to January (I had preordered it and was anxiously waiting for it in the post). Let’s just say I was really excited and started reading the book the evening I got it 😛
Mr. Kiss and Tell picks up a few months after The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Veronica is much more settled in working side by side with her father at Mars Investigations, though she is repeatedly reminded of the life she almost had as a lawyer. Additionally, her star is rising, a fact that is not lost on her father and those closest to her (however her father is kept occupied with his own case, which doesn’t leave him for much time to ruminate over the matter). The case that Veronica is called on to investigate was interesting and disturbing, revealing the seedy underside of Neptune, and drawing in characters from all social backgrounds but also familiar characters from the show and the main characters’ lives. Her determination to see the investigation through and find out exactly what happens is always a marvel to read, even as some situations leaves her questioning her decisions or contrasting her values with her closest friends and the people in her life.
I had mentioned in my review of the previous novel that I wished there was more Weevil, and indeed that is what we get in this book: this book does pick up on Weevil’s legal situation and plays out as one of the subplots throughout th whole story. It also ties in to the larger ongoing storyline about the corruption that’s rampant in the law enforcement and Keith’s investigation into it, as well as the political angle and the election for the next sheriff.
Logan’s back, his presence not restricted to Skype dates as it was in the previous novel. I had forgotten how long he was out on active duty and the timeline between the movie and events of this novel, so it was nice to see him back. This storyline involving Veronica and Logan’s relationship was really interesting because it’s a glimpse into their domestic life together at this point, this newfound bliss they have that’s totally different from what we saw in the show. Of course all is not smooth and calm as the realities of their respective jobs and trying to figure out how to make their relationship work are also explored. It’s very mature though how they approach the problem, and it not only shows how far they’ve come (more so with Logan; he has this wonderful character moment where he explains where his headspace was at for a good part of the 9 years they were apart) but also how much they want their relationship to work (despite perhaps some momentary questioning from Veronica’s part). Oh, and there’s this decision that they make that’s really funny and cute and again shows the commitment they’re putting forth in their relationship.
I really enjoyed reading Mr. Kiss and Tell, it’s another solid Veronica Mars mystery IMO and it was just fun to revisit all of the characters and read as they interact with each other, make snarky comments and pop culture references; I couldn’t stop reading the book once I started. This time I wish Mac and Wallace had a bigger role to play (Mac did, but Wallace seems to always get pulled whenever Veronica needs something and that’s about it…Then again it makes sense their respective jobs, but still). Does anyone know if they’re planning on writing more books? I’m happy with the two we’ve gotten in the last year, but more would be nice (please)! 🙂
p.s. There was a lot of food talk I find in this book, especially whenever the story pans to Keith’s place for dinner and stuff…Made me pretty hungry 😛