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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.


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THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Goldberg, Lee: Mr. Monk On the Road

  Amazon  

“4

Note: Amazon affiliate: Links pointing to Amazon contain my affiliate ID. Sales resulting from clicks on those links will earn me a percentage of the purchase price.

Mr. Monk on the Road, the 11th book in Lee Goldberg's series, takes place shortly after the events of the final episode of Monk the TV show. Big changes had occurred on the series, it turns out, while I wasn't watching, and Goldberg sums them up rather briskly in his first chapter (after a warning to readers about the upcoming spoilers): the biggest change--and I won't spoil anything here--is that Monk finally solved the mystery of his wife Trudy's murder, the one crime he had never been able to figure out. The solution hasn't cured Monk's laundry list of phobias, but it has made him feel better, as if the world is a little less out of balance than it was. So it is with a relatively jaunty step that he visits his agoraphobic brother Ambrose one morning, accompanied as ever by his assistant--and the narrator of the Monk books--Natalie Teeger. The visit prompts Monk to conjure up an unusual present for Ambrose's upcoming birthday, one that could either change Ambrose's life forever and for the better or land Monk in jail for kidnapping.

As the book's title suggests, much of the action of this one takes place on the road, as the Monks and Natalie explore the world south of San Francisco: Santa Cruz, Solvang, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon. Along the way, of course, they encounter numerous offenses against the natural order of things--such as decades' worth of chewing gum stuck to an alley wall in San Luis Obispo--as well as a string of corpses: it wouldn't be a holiday for Monk without a murder or two to solve.

The mysteries Monk solves on the road seemed a little far-fetched to me, so that was a negative. On the other hand, I liked very much how he went about solving them, his brain working on the problems in the background without his even realizing it. We're surprised then, along with Natalie, when Monk rolls his shoulders toward the end of the book in a signature move that indicates he's solved a murder. But Goldberg's books aren't only about the crimes. More important are the series's wonderful characters. The development of Monk and Natalie's relationship over the series makes for many sweet moments, but in this outing the focus is on Ambrose's interaction with Monk and Natalie and with the world at large. As usual in the series, there is some very funny dialogue. Usually this is centered on Monk's abhorrence of all things unsanitary, but Ambrose's social ineptitude also makes for some funny lines.

I really enjoyed this one and the series as a whole, and I'm hoping the books never stop coming. 

Comments

1.

I have never read any of these books, but loved the series. I will have to check them out.

2.

Do! If you liked the series you should enjoy these.

3.

I have watched the shows, I definately need to check this series out!

4.

Hi, Chaptergeek. I don't think you'll be disappointed!

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