Veronica Mars has been off the air for well over a decade, but soon, she’ll be back for a fourth season, exclusively on Hulu. If you can’t wait for the return of this spunky sleuth and the gritty darkness of Neptune, California, here are a few books we recommend to help tide you over.

A Song for the Road* by Rayne Lacko

One of the threads that bound the entirety of the original Veronica Mars together was her mother’s abandonment. Every once in a while, she’d get a tip about where she might be and go try to chase her down. Carter’s father also left him, and A Song for the Road follows him on his cross-country adventure to find him again. Fortunately, Carter and his father’s reunion is a much happier one than Veronica and her mother’s.

Alphonse by Carl Sever

Rape was a recurring event in Veronica’s life. She was drugged and raped at a party in high school. When she went to college, there was a serial rapist going around. She did everything she could to figure out whodunit—talking to victims to try to piece it together, grilling suspects, and getting drug testing coasters mandated at parties. Similarly, Alphonse does everything he can to stop the sexual abuse of a child.

Bear Witness by Melissa Clark

If Veronica’s journey to recover from Lilly’s murder was once of your favorite plotlines, Bear Witness is the book for you. Like Lilly, Paige’s best friend Robin was brutally murdered as a teenager. Both Veronica and Paige are haunted by the deaths, the memories, and the guilt. Both these girls and their hometowns are profoundly affected by the untimely deaths. They struggle to overcome their losses—and their faith in the universe.

Firewall* by Eugenia Lovett West

One of the cool things about Veronica Mars was that sometimes, factoids that Veronica picked up to solve one of her one-episode mysteries would turn out to be a crucial piece of evidence in a multi-episode or even season-long case. This too happens to Emma in Firewall—she learns things and makes contacts while working on one case that becomes pertinent in bringing down a big cybercrime ring.

Found by Emily Brett

Both Natalie and Veronica have developed strong self-reliance and independence because of their lives’ circumstances, including a parent’s abandonment. However, they also seem to have near-death experiences far too often. Just as a bus Veronica was supposed to be on went over a cliff, Natalie was thrown overboard into the Great Barrier Reef. They have to wonder if someone is trying to kill them.

Annie Oakley Mystery series by Kari Bovée

If what you loved about Veronica Mars was stories of being a sleuth, this series may pique your interest. It reimagines Annie Oakley as a sleuth—so when people start tuning up dead, just like Veronica, she’s on the case. She’s even got her trusty sidekick, reporter Emma Wilson, to help her solve the crimes. This is much like Veronica has Wallace Fennel to help her solve the mysteries in Neptune.

Within Reach by Jessica Stevens

In this novel, Lila is devastated by the death of her boyfriend, Xander. Six months ago, her life seemed perfect. However, she sometimes feels like Xan is trying to tell her something. Sound familiar? After Lilly’s death, Veronica’s life also fell apart, in much the same way. She also felt Lilly was trying to tell her something—namely, who killed her. Thinking she saw an apparition of Lilly also saved her life at one point.


*not out yet, but available for pre-order now