Goldberg, Lee: Mr. Monk is a Mess
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TWEETABLE REVIEW: 4.5* Lee Goldberg's penultimate Monk novel leaves Adrian, Natalie, & Ambrose facing big changes. Great read, as usual. http://amzn.to/LDHPXJ
Mr. Monk is a Mess is the 14th novel that Lee Goldberg has written in the Monk series, which is based on the television show featuring Tony Shaloub as obsessive compulsive detective Adrian Monk. Unfortunately, Goldberg is slated to produce only one more book for the series, the perfectly titled Mr. Monk Gets Even, which (according to Amazon) is due out at the end of 2012. The series may be continued by another author, so there's some hope, but it won't be easy to duplicate Goldberg's blend of humor, pathos, and plotting. The title of Goldberg's final book suggests that he'll be leaving Monk in a good place, having found balance in a world marred by murder, poorly parked cars, and odd numbers. Monk is headed there already in Mr. Monk is a Mess. The book picks up where Mr. Monk on Patrol left off, with Monk and his assistant Natalie Teeger temporarily employed as police offers in Summit, New Jersey. They eventually return to San Francisco with big plans in mind, but Natalie's homecoming is less than idyllic: suffice it to say that her house is soon cordoned off with police tape, and things don't look good for her and Monk. While they're trying to get the FBI off their backs, Natalie and Monk are also tasked with helping Monk's agoraphobic brother Ambrose, a storyline that leads to a very moving, very satisfying conclusion. There is less humor in this book than in previous installments, but plenty of heart. The novel ends with our crime-fighting duo on the verge of huge changes in their lives. I'm eager to see how Goldberg will wrap things up, but also very sad to see his involvement with the series coming to an end.