Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out -- Lee Goldberg

I've been a fan of Lee Goldberg's books about Mr. Monk for quite a while now (as my previous reviews have revealed), so I was glad to see that another one had arrived on the scene. I believe that someone had expressed a hope that the book's title meant that Monk would be getting a colonoscopy, but that's not the case. Maybe in the next book. Instead, the title refers to the current financial mess and to the fact that Monk has invested unwisely, with a pyramid scammer along the lines of those whose names you may have seen in the news. Monk has no money, no house, no job. And that's a problem for Natalie, the narrator of these books, as well, since Monk can no longer afford to pay her.

When the witnesses against Bob Sebes, the scammer, start being murdered, Monk is convinced that Sebes is the killer. He can't prove it, however, and nobody believes him. After all, though Sebes is living in his own home, he's monitored at all times through signals from an unbeatable ankle bracelet, the Triax XG7 8210, and the signals prove he's never left his house. Could Monk be wrong for the first time in his career? I can say no more about that.

Since Monk is no longer employed, Natalie gets him (and herself) a succession of jobs. They don't last long. Imagine Monk working as a grocery clerk or in a pizza parlor. Or as a sales clerk in a mall clothing store. Along the way, he solves any number of major crimes on the fly. He can't help it. It's just the way he is.

And he's hilarious. I keep thinking that Goldberg is going to run out of situations or new ways for Monk to react to the world, but he seems to be endlessly inventive. I found myself laughing out loud more than once in the course of the book.

Monk's relationship with Natalie advances, too. I'm not saying anything more about that, but the relationship between them gets more complex with each book. This is fine entertainment, and I'm already looking forward to the next book. Even if there's no colonoscopy.


pattinase (abbott) said...

One colonoscopy is enough for any of us.

George said...

I'm enjoying this series, too. Too bad the TV series ended its run.