Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Veronica Mars

Title: Veronica Mars
Channel: The CW
Date: September 2004

Plot Summary: Welcome to Neptune, California, a town comprised of millionaires and the people who work for them – a town with no middle class.  When her best friend, Lilly Kane, is murdered, Veronica Mars’ father, the local sheriff, is ousted from his job after pursuing the wrong man for the crime.  Veronica’s mother leaves town, and Veronica helps out her father in his new career as a private investigator.  At school, she has been an outcast ever since her boyfriend, Duncan Kane (Lilly’s brother), broke up with her, casting her out of the popular crowd.  A year after the murder, Veronica makes friends with the new kid in town, Wallace, and makes some extra cash by working for her dad and helping solve cases for her classmates at school.  Even with a confessed man behind bars, something about Lilly Kane’s murder seems unanswered, and Veronica is determined to find out what really happened.

Critical Evaluation: Veronica Mars, the pint sized sleuth, would be a fantastic addition to any young adult collection.  The television show, particularly the first season, is shot in an artsy noir style that complements the crime solving of the plots.  While there are a few overarching subject lines throughout the series, including the murder of Lilly Kane and the disappearance of Veronica’s mother, each episode introduces a smaller case for Veronica to resolve.  It seems like everyone in the fictional southern California town of Neptune has secrets, and Veronica is capable of getting to the bottom of each one.  During the run of the show, Veronica’s character is in her last years of high school, and the last season portrays her as a freshman in college – a perfect heroine for older teens who are interested in the mystery genre.  The character development is fantastic – even the unlikable characters are given depth and are made into sympathetic figures, even capable of redeeming themselves for their flaws.

Annotation: After her best friend, Lilly Kane, is murdered, Veronica’s father loses his job as sheriff for going after the wrong man.  A year later, Veronica is helping her father out with his new job as a private investigator – and trying to find out what really happened to Lilly.

About the Creator: Rob Thomas was born in 1965 in Sunnyside, Washington.  After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987 with a B.A. in History, Thomas taught journalism at John Marshall High School in San Antonio.  During the 1980s and 90s, Thomas was a member in three bands based out of Austin, Texas.

In 1996, Thomas wrote the young adult novel Rats Saw God.  Around this time, Thomas began a career in writing for television, including becoming a member of the writing staff of Dawson’s Creek.  He created the show Veronica Mars, which was picked up in 2004 but only ran for three seasons before being canceled due to low ratings, even though it was well received by critics.

Genre: Mystery, Drama

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) Compare Veronica’s relationships with Duncan and Logan.
2) Will solving Lilly’s murder mean that Veronica can get her old friends back?

Interest Age: 14 and older

Challenge Issues: drugs and alcohol, sexual content, mild profanity

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the TV show and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on

• Try to get reviews of the TV show from teens who have watched it.

Selection: I loved this show when it was on, and I think that Veronica is a timeless character in the same vein as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Even though the show has been canceled, I think it would be a great contribution for a library’s young adult collection.


Official website

Veronica Mars on


May 9, 2010 - Posted by | TV Shows | ,

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