(Danger is Never Far Away): Mr Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

(Danger is Never Far Away): Mr Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer GrahamMr Kiss and Tell by Jennifer Graham, Rob Thomas
on 1st February 2015
Pages: 330
Goodreads
four-stars
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?

Continuing on after the events in The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, Veronica Mars is back in Mr Kiss and Tell. Trying to make ends meet as a private detective, Veronica takes a job which sends her right back into Neptune’s seedy underbelly. This time she is employed to disprove a woman’s story of an alleged rape and assault at the Neptune Grand. With Veronica on the case, things are never quite as they first seem and she finds there is a lot more to the case than anyone first expected. It is up to Veronica to solve the case before she becomes a nasty predator’s next victim…

It would not be a Veronica Mars story without Veronica a) finding herself right bang in the middle of a dangerous case and b) bumping into some old acquaintances along the way. Mr Kiss and Tell brings together some of my favourite things about the series. I think the author does a brilliant job at incorporating Veronica’s past into her present day situation. Living in a small town it is not far-fetched to believe characters who played their roles in Veronica’s teen years now popping up in different ways as she investigates new crimes. The appearances don’t feel forced but thoughtfully incorporated into the cases Veronica works on.

As to be expected, there is a lot going on in this Veronica Mars novel. Action. drama and romance all play their part to deliver a great plot with interesting twists and turns. Veronica is more grown up than the teenager from the show and this reflects in both her professional and personal lives. Her ethics regarding certain methods aren’t exactly politically correct but she manages to stay true to her own moral code.

Logan, Mac, Wallace and Weevil all add to the story with their trademark sense of snark and sarcasm. I loved seeing them interact together now that they are a little older. In Mr Kiss and Tell we get to see how they have changed in the years since high school. I appreciate how their pasts are not forgotten but rather growing older and wiser (in some cases), these characters are true to their younger selves and backstories.

Using technology, old resources and some old-fashioned detective work, Veronica gets to the bottom of her case which leads her into some fairly risky situations. Veronica has a certain charm which is endearing and terrifying. Her tendency to do everything she can to solve a case is dangerous and exhilarating. The threat of danger is evident in the cases she investigate which makes it such an exciting read.

Mr Kiss and Tell is a great addition to the Veronica Mars universe. There are interesting new characters, cameos from old favourites and a mystery which will keep you guessing until the big reveal.

 

Thanks to Allen and Unwin for the review copy. 

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