Year Published - July 2006 (Published by Signet)
Length - 286 pages
Written by Lee Goldberg (Based on the television series created by Andy Breckman)
Rating: 4 Skulls
Some people think Hawaii is paradise. But Monk knows that danger - like dirt - lurks everywhere. Look at Helen Gruber, the rich tourist who took a fatal blow from a coconut. The police say it fell from a tree, but Monk suspects otherwise. His assistant, Natalie, isn't exactly thrilled about Monk's latest investigation. It was bad enough that Monk followed her on vacation, and now it looks like the vacation is over. . .
Smooth-talking TV psychic Dylan Swift is on the island and claims to have a message from beyond - from Helen Gruber. Monk has his doubts about Swift's credibility. But finding the killer and proving Swift a fraud - all while coping with geckos and the horror of unsynchronized ceiling fans - may prove a tough coconut to crack. . .
First, I just have to say that I absolutely LOVE Monk - it is one of my favorite shows on television! If Adrian Monk were a real person, he would be one of my heroes! :-) So, when I came across this novel, in a used bookstore, I was surprised. I generally do not read novels based on television series, but c'mon, this is Monk that we are talking about! (and it just so happens that the television show is currently on hiatus, until the winter, so what better time than to read a story about Monk?)
If you are not familiar with Monk, it is a show, on the USA Network, about an Obsessive Compulsive Detective (played by Tony Shalhoub) Monk has OCD to the extreme, yet with his deduction skills, as well as his organizational skills, along with his phenomenal attention to details - all of this makes him an absolutely amazing detective! (I will not go into all of the details of the show's plot - just check it out, if you never have!)
I will however give you a couple examples of Monk's OCD (just because they are so hysterical)
When Monk is eating a bowl of Kellogg's Raisin Bran, he removes every single bran flake and raisin to make sure that his bowl has a four-flake-to-one-raisin ratio!
He carries a tape measure with him - one of the uses being in case he orders a sandwich, they will be able to cut it 'exactly' in half
Perhaps all of this is more funny to me, as I have a slight/minor case of OCD as well, so I can relate with Monk. (I am by no means as bad as Monk - I just like Order - things to be straight and even, etc.)
The above are just a few of the examples of Monk's OCD - along with his OCD, he also has a plethora of Phobias - hence his need of an assistant (Natalie) who provides him with Wipes, after he has to shake someone's hand, etc. Other examples:
He takes his own silverware/dishes with him to a restaurant
He takes a folding lawn chair with him to the movies, because he cannot stand the thought of sitting in a chair that hundreds, if not thousands, have already sat in beforehand
I digress. . . back to the actual review of the book:
The book is written by Lee Goldberg - who just so happens to also write a lot of the television episodes, so I knew that characteristics, etc would all match up - a good thing when reading a book based upon something else!
The book is told from Monk's assistant - Natalie Teeger's perspective, which is awesome! The book reads just like an episode from the series! Lee Goldberg nailed Monk's mannerisms, his sarcastic remarks, etc to a tee, which is hilarious! There are several things going on in the book, it is not just one single mystery that is solved, so the book is a fast read! (and just like the television show - a lot of times it is easy to figure out the "who did it" but the fun part is figuring out the "how and why")
So, if you are already a fan of Monk, and you enjoy a good book, definitely pick this one up - there are other books based on the series as well, so I will be keeping an eye out for those myself!
If you are unfamiliar with Monk, check on USA for re-runs of the show (it is currently in it's 7th season) If you like the show, then you will like the book as well :-)