What’s left to say about Lee Goldberg’s Monk books? You already know they’re some of the very best TV tie-in books being published today. More than that, they’re some of the very best mystery novels being published today, period. MR. MONK IS CLEANED OUT is the latest in the series, and it’s excellent, as always. You should read it right away, if you haven’t already.
Oh, I suppose I can say a little more. In this one, Monk again loses his job as a consultant because of severe budget cutbacks by the San Francisco Police Department, and the floundering economy is a big part of the plot. Monk is in even worse shape because he had invested all his money with a financial manager who turns out to be crooked, meaning he’s broke. That leads him and assistant Natalie Teeger to take a series of oddball jobs while Monk is also trying to solve several murders that are part of the same case involving the larcenous financial manager.
The plot is appropriately twisty, but as usual, Goldberg plays fair with the clues. Monk has never been more miserable (or funnier), and Natalie’s narration is as charming and appealing as ever. I was really sad to see the TV series end. For years now, it’s been a summer tradition at our house to watch the previous season of MONK on DVD (along with PSYCH, another great series). Thankfully, the novel series is continuing, so we won’t be completely without visits from Monk, Natalie, Captain Stottlemeyer, and Lt. Disher. For now, MR. MONK IS CLEANED OUT comes highly recommended by me, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Lee handles the developments from the TV series finale in future books.