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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Goldberg, Lee: Mr. Monk in Trouble

  Amazon  

4 stars

Mr. Monk is in trouble with a capital T in the latest installment of Lee Goldberg's series of TV tie-ins. Adrian Monk and his assistant Natalie travel to Trouble, California, to investigate the murder of a retired San Francisco policeman. The ominously named town grew up during the gold rush, and nothing much has changed there since the Forty-niners' times: burros roam the unpaved streets, the sidewalks are made of wooden planks, and a handful of hopefuls still break their backs hoping to strike it rich. For Monk, who's not fond of nature and would prefer the whole world to be paved over, the assignment is a descent into hell.

The trip to Trouble spawns another mystery: the murdered man worked as a night watchman in the Gold Rush Museum, the centerpiece of which is an old locomotive, the Golden Rail Express, which used to run between Trouble and San Francisco. The train was robbed during its final run in 1962, two men were killed, and the crime was never solved. Monk, of course, is on the case.

More interesting than the crimes and their solution, however, is Natalie and Monk's discovery that Monk apparently has roots in Trouble: Mr. Monk in Trouble is laced with excerpts from a journal Natalie reads throughout the novel, stories written by a certain Abigail Guthrie, who was the assistant to Trouble's resident assayer and amateur sleuth during the Gold Rush era: Artemis Monk. Essentially, Artemis is Adrian Monk--with all of his genius and eccentricities--transplanted to a less hygenic era.

The Artemis Monk stories are as entertaining as any regular Monk chapters--though one has to suspend disbelief a bit to accept that Monk's forbear would be a virtual copy of him, or vice versa. I found myself missing the character of Stottlemeyer in this one: his role is much reduced because he's left behind in San Francisco, and there is correspondingly less banter in the book. But there are some sweet moments between Natalie and Monk that compensate.

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