Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mr. Monk Helps Himself -- Hy Conrad

Hy Conrad worked on the TV series version of Monk for its entire run as a writer and producer, so when Lee Goldberg decided to stop writing the novels based on the character, Conrad was a logical choice to continue them.  He begin the new book with a short introductory essay that tells us a little about himself and about how he's a different writer from Goldberg.  While he plans to remain faithful to Goldberg's approach to the books, they're naturally going to be different because Conrad isn't a clone.  He's a writer with his own ideas.  However, this book is no reboot.  Conrad says he's going to follow right along from Goldberg's continuity, and he does.

The book opens with Natalie Teeger back in San Francisco, just as the last book ended. Teeger, formerly Monk's assistant and now his partner, is a police officer in New Jersey, but she's not entirely happy there.  She knows that her career is really in San Francisco, working with Monk.  When she witnesses what everyone else believes is a suicide, she's sure it's murder.  Not even Monk believes her, and he sets to work on a case for the SFPD, a case that involves clowns.  Monk, as you might figure, has a terrible fear of clowns. 

Aside from the murder investigations, the question is whether Natalie and Monk will become true partners.  Will Monk accept her as an equal and not just an assistant?  I was worried that Conrad might find a way to develop both Natalie and Monk's character further, but I should've known better.  Mr. Monk, as the title says, helps himself, and so does Natalie.  I'm glad to see that the series will continue its winning ways.


Anonymous said...

Of course I'm a number of books behind on this series but glad to see he kept to the established story lines.


Tom Johnson said...

My wife has it on pre order.