Lee Goldberg writes the Mr. Monk novels as well as scripts for the tv show. I have had some difficulty reconciling Mr. Goldberg's characterizations with the depictions on tv. He has added some depth to the characters, which I appreciate. In other cases, he takes the characters much further than I like. Mr. Monk, in particular, is more mentally ill in the books than on tv. Despite all that, I think Mr. Goldberg really hit the nail on the head with this book.
In this book, Sharona and Natalie meet for the first time. Sharona has returned to San Francisco after separating from her husband for the second time. This time, Sharona's husband has been accused of murder. She doesn't ask Monk to investigate, but wants her old job back. Natalie, of course, wants to keep her job and resents having Sharona show up. Monk does offer the job to Sharona, but also wants to keep Natalie - thus having two assistants. Natalie decideds that Mr. Monk needs to investigate Sharona's husband and clear him of the murder. In this way, Sharona can reunite with her husband and Natalie can have her job back.
The story is not immediately predictable. Mr. Monk investigates two murders which eventually intersect. I won't say who did it, but you might be able to guess towards the end. Even so, I enjoyed the story and didn't mind. It was fun to see the interaction of Sharona and Natalie. There is one very poignant part of the story in which Monk explains how he solves crimes and his fear that he might not be able to solve all of them.
For fluff mystery reading, this was a good one.
Book Rating: 4 Stars