Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mr. Monk Is Miserable -- Lee Goldberg

If Monk is miserable, you can be sure I'll be happy reading about it.  This book picks up just after the ending of the previous novel in the series, in which Natalie Teeger has blackmailed Monk into going to France, and one reason I liked this book so much is that I'm a big fan of stories that feature sewers and/or catacombs.  I think this all started when I read Thomas Pynchon's V., with Benny Profane hunting alligators in the NY sewers with a shotgun.  But I digress.  Goldberg gives me the sewers of Paris and the catacombs as well, but that's not all.  Since the city is undermined by limestone caverns, we also get a nice tour of a fantastical world populated by all kinds of people living off the grid.

There's murder, too, of course, including murder in a completely dark restaurant where the servers are blind and no one can see a thing.  The killing is connected to a skull that Monk finds in the catacombs, not that there aren't thousands of other skulls there.  You'll have to read the book to find out more.

And of course there's plenty of Monk's quirkiness, which I continue to find amusing.  This is where the title of the book is somewhat misleading because before it's over, Monk has found something approaching pure happiness driving a motocrotte.  Again, you'll have to read it for yourself, which is something I recommend the next time you need a good laugh, an entertaining mystery, and a tour of the Paris underground all for the same price.


Dave Zeltserman said...

Lee clearly does a good making you visualize Monk in these books. As I'm reading these I can just about hear Monk's voice. If you're a fan of the show (like I am), these books are a lot of fun. My wife this weekend met a group of people who are living off the grid just like the group that Lee describes in this book--and my wife heard all the same sort of dumpster diving tales that Lee was describing.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this book too, as I have all of the Monk books. It seems that Lee gets better with each book. This book also left me wondering if the completely dark restaurant is real or just the author's imagination.


Lee Goldberg said...

The restaurant is real and I ate there...it's called Dans Le Noir and it's across from the Pompidou center. I believe they also have outposts in London, NY and LA.

Lake Mills Library said...

Goldberg: I don't know how well the books have sold but they have been getting good check-outs from my library.