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Veronica Mars (2): An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Januar 2015

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is the creator of the television series Veronica Mars and the co-creator of the television series Party Down. He lives in Austin with his wife and two children. He hasn’t fully recovered from Ray Allen’s three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals.


Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham graduated from Reed College and received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Her short stories have appeared in The Seattle Review and Zahir. She currently lives in Austin with her husband.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

PROLOGUE
 
It was raining in Neptune. That was rare, even for early March; the little SoCal city usually boasted blue skies year-round. But the clouds had rolled in off the ocean, and now raindrops pattered across the houses of rich and poor alike, the one great equalizer in a town without a middle class.
 
A grimy white van trolled slowly through the east edge of town, where Zen landscaping gave way to weed-strewn lots. There were no millionaires’ homes here—no boutiques, no surf shops, no post-op resorts for wealthy nip/tuck patients. Out here were prefab houses propped on cinderblocks, biker bars, chop shops. The buildings were all sun-bleached and dingy, the roads speckled with potholes that sent the van bucking on its worn-out shocks.
 
Frank Kozlowski was a junk dealer, just like his old man had been. His late wife always liked to say he was in “antiques,” but ninety percent of what he found was well and truly junk—broken appliances he stripped for parts, scrap metal he recycled at a buck a pound. But every so often he found something really good. In a town like Neptune, where the wealthy always had more than they knew what to do with, a guy with wheels and initiative could make out like a bandit. High-end furniture that just needed reupholstery or refinishing; designer clothes with minor stains and tears. Paint-by-numbers art, antique road signs, and metal lunch boxes with ’70s-era cartoon characters on the front. He salvaged the best of it and resold it from his garage, mostly to young, Tyrolean-hatted guys and buzz-cut girls in resale mom jeans who used words like “naive” and “authentic” to describe his wares. Kozlowski didn’t mind—or in most cases even notice—the affectation. These kids kept the mortgage paid and the fridge stocked with beer.
 
He drove slowly through the rain, alert for any kind of glimmer from the underbrush. A rosary swayed back and forth from his rearview mirror, almost in time with the wipers. In the passenger seat, his little wire-haired mutt, Gus, sat at attention, ears pricked forward. It was just after seven a.m. and he’d already been out here for two hours. So far all he’d found was a stack of warped two-by-fours, a brass drawer pull, and a molded plastic chair pocked with cigarette-burn stigmata.
 
But the business was like that. Some mornings were a bust. Other mornings, the junk fairy lit a path at your feet and led you to something special. That’s what really got him out of bed at four in the dark, cold-ass morning. Not so much the promise of cash as that into-the-red spike of adrenaline, the thrill of the next big find. The way a single magic discovery could vindicate a hundred shitty, wasted trips. He’d never been able to explain that to Nell. She always groaned when he came back with rusted, filthy roadside dross. “Jesus, Frank, why can’t you just hit up estate sales like everyone else? Flea markets. Thrift shops. This stuff is worthless.”
 
Worthless. The word—the very idea—left him dumb-struck. Nothing was worthless. Not if you knew who needed it. Not if you knew how to salvage it. She’d never really appreciated that.
 
Still, that road went both ways. He’d been startled by the silence in the house in the year since she’d died (emphysema; she’d never been able to give up the fucking cigarettes), startled by how hard it was to sleep without her cold feet on his calves all night. They’d never had any kids. Now it was just him and Gus and a restless, edgy energy that sent him pacing from room to room and woke him in the pre-dawn chill, hounding him out of the house and into the junkyards and abandoned buildings fringing Neptune. He never thought to call the feeling grief.
 
Now, cruising along the empty road, his mind drifted. He thought about the donuts he always picked up on the way home, and the hot shower he’d take after unloading the shit from his van. Gus would need a bath too, after the rain and mud. He’d just about decided to throw in the towel and head home when he saw it.
 
There.
 
He eased his van onto the shoulder and killed the engine. The road banked sharply downward toward a lot fringed with buckwheat and sumac, a scraggly patch of land with a faded for sale sign nailed to a post. The sign had been there at least a decade. This wasn’t exactly prime real estate, situated on the edge of town in the empty miles between a ramshackle trailer park and the Balboa County Youth Correctional Compound. Half of Neptune seemed to use it as a cost-effective dumping ground, making it a regular stop on Kozlowski’s circuit. He’d found some good stuff in that lot over the years. A box of dog-eared Playboys. A six-foot fiberglass cheeseburger from a long-defunct drive-through. The front half of a ’68 Buick Skylark that he’d sold to a restora-tion company. And now he’d caught a glimpse of something through the gloom—something that might just be worth stumbling down that bank for.

Gus jumped lightly out of the van and took off running, his tail flailing right and left. He loved the hunt as much as Kozlowski, sensing his master’s excitement and feeding off it. Kozlowski stepped out after the dog, slamming the door behind him. Icy needles of rain stung his cheeks and neck. He hunched his shoulders against the cold, his boots sinking down in the mud. For a moment he couldn’t see anything, and he wondered if he’d imagined it. But then he found it again—a dirty pink shape, half hidden in the sedge. A dress form, perhaps a mannequin? His heart gave the familiar little stutter that almost always meant a good score.
 
The man knelt alongside Gus and patted the dog’s trembling rump. “What do you think? Worth getting wet for?”
 
Gus whipped around in a tight, fast little circle. That was good enough for Kozlowski.
 
The incline was steep and slippery. He edged his way down, leaning back to keep from going ass-over-teakettle. Gus scampered ahead of him and then paused at the base of the hill, shaking water from his coat. Kozlowski’s eyes locked in on the thing in the field. Definitely a mannequin—he could see the arms and legs splayed out in the mud. Cleaned up and restored it might get him a C-note from a vintage shop or a tailor. And there was the outside chance it was worth real money. He’d heard of antique mannequins going for seven, eight hundred a pop, sometimes more if it was a rare model in good condition.
 
But even from fifty feet away, this one was looking pretty rough. Its wig was so tangled and dirty he couldn’t guess what the original color might have been. The left arm crooked out at a strange angle to the rest of the body, probably busted. Dark streaks of mud wreathed the pale figure. Gus darted ahead across the field toward the thing, running in wild circles around it for a moment as Kozlowski approached.
 
He was a few yards away when the hair on the back of his neck suddenly shot up. Something felt wrong about the whole scene. The mannequin’s skintight dress was hiked up around its waist, its sculpted buttocks bare to the sky. Another time he might have thought it was funny, trying to imagine why the hell the manufacturers had designed a dress-store dummy with a realistic ass. But here in the rain, splayed out in the mud, it looked so sad—so sick—he felt a creeping unease that crowded out the dollar signs he’d imagined.
 
Gus was pawing at the thing’s torso, a thin whine coming up from his throat. Through the sound of the rain, Kozlowski could hear the distant croak of a...


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A perfect read for me as a die hard Veronica Mars fan. It had it all, a great plot, character development, blasts from the past and though I hope there will be many more installments to come, I would be perfectly happy if this were the end.
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Der Roman beginnt einige Woche nach dem Film und knüpft nahtlos an die Geschehnisse an. Im Laufe des Romans werden kleine Annektoden und Verbindungen zur Serie hergestellt. Das Buch liest sich flüssig, wer die Serie bzw. den Film liebt kann sich sogar die Stimmen der Protagonisten vorstellen. Die Handlung ist spannend und man kann der Storyline gut folgen. Mir persönlich hat es sehr gut gefallen und ich freue mich schon auf die Fortsetzung.
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Das Buch setzt an das Ende des Kinofilms an. Um also alles nachvollziehen zu können sollte man sich erst den Film ansehen.

Veronica Mars ist zurück in Neptune und arbeitet als Privatdetektivin wie ihr Vater. Neptune ist zum derzeitigen Spring Break ein beliebter Partyort. Das ändert sich als eine Studentin von einer Party verschwindet und kurz darauf eine zweite Studentin vermisst wird. Veronica Mars wird angeheuert zusätzlich zur Polizei zu ermitteln, da die Hotelbetreiber sich Sorgen um das Image von Neptune und zusätzlich durch die beiden Vermissten Einbußen im Spring Break Geschäft erleiden.

Die Buchreihe zu Veronica Mars startet nach dem ende des Kinofilms und zeigt wie Veronica als Privatdetektivin in der Agency ihres Vaters arbeitet, da dieser sich noch nicht von seinem "Unfall" erholt hat. Veronica hat ihre Freundin Mac zur Hilfe, die für sie Arbeiten rund ums hacken erledigt. Auch Wallace spielt eine Rolle, so dass man sich gleich zu Hause fühlt. Die Charaktere sind schön beschrieben und Veronicas Humor wird gut in Buchform übersetzt. Manches Mal konnte ich mir Veronicas Blick zu einem Ausspruch bildlich vorstellen. Durch die Buchform können besonders Veronicas Gedanken fast noch besser als im TV eingefangen werden.

Die Story fand ich anfangs etwas eigenartig und stellenweise auch etwas langweilig, sie entwickelte sich aber im Laufe des Buches einigermaßen, so dass auch hier mehr Spannung geboten wurde.

Logan kam leider nur am Rande vor. Veronicas Beziehung spielte also für das Buch keine Rolle, das ist allerdings durch seinen Job verständlich und in diesem Band wurde einfach der Fokus auf ihre Arbeit gelenkt.
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Ich war ein großer Fand der Serie und hab sie vor ein paar Jahren gesehen.
Als ich das Buch durch Zufall entdeckte, war ich erst verunsichert, ob ich der
Handlung folgen könnte, da ich nicht mehr wirklich viel von der Serie im Kopf hatte.
Aber diese Sorge war grundlos, denn man braucht keinerlei Vorwissen, um
die Geschichte zu verstehen.
Das Buch knüpft an den Film an, aber selbst wenn man diesen nicht gesehen hat
(so wie ich), kann man der Handlung problemlos folgen.
Der Krimi ist spannend und hat viele Wendungen, habe es nicht bereut ihn
gelesen zu haben und würde ihn jedem Krimi-Fan empfehlen!
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Von T.Abby am 29. März 2014
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[spoiler free]
This took me (not even) two days to read in the middle of urgently having to write a term paper. Always a good sign for a book (and a bad sign for the term paper).

I've read that some people were a little disappointed because the focus of this book was on the case and not so much on character developement or whatever, there was hardly any LoVe, or that it was not written from her point of view... - the last one I kind of agree with, just because it feels different from the series (+ the movie) to not have her "inner dialog" and wit all the time.

But then - good news for all (even potential) VM enthusiasts everywhere - there are all the good things about this book:

1) There is more Veronica Mars.
("She's back", my backers t-shirt states. There, I'm outed.)
A brand new story, thought of by Rob Thomas himself (the author, not the musician, as Rob would make sure to clarify^^). Here's the gist of my rewiew: More VM ist always better than less VM.

2) Things happen!
Familiar faces reappear. There is actual developement in the VM world - important, new stuff happens in Neptune and in Veronica's life that will be relevant beyond this book or this particular case the book revolves around. And: All o it is officially part of the canon now and you don't want to miss it.

3) The withdrawal ends.
Veronica is now definately back in the game and mostly the same person everybody missed during the last years. Almost back to her old shape as well. There could be more jokes and epic cultural references I guess - maybe hard to translate into a book (I also really miss her occasional "look of disdain" / "over-the-moon-face").
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Von N. am 15. Juli 2014
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Veronica Mars funktioniert auch in Buchform super! Die Geschichte knüpft an den Film an und erinnert in ihrer Form sehr an die Folgen der Serie. Es gibt einige spannende Wendungen in der Handlung, insgesamt ist es gut zu lesen. Es macht Spaß einer meiner Lieblingsheldinnen in dieser Form zu begegnen. Minuspunkte: Das Buch hätte ruhig länger sein können und Logan ist nicht körperlich anwesend. Schade! Fazit: Ich freu mich schon auf den nächsten Band!
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