Now that Monk and Natalie are both in San Francisco again, life is almost back to normal, with one exception: Natalie is studying for her PI license, the last step to becoming Monk’s full partner.
Before taking the plunge, Natalie sneaks off to Half Moon Bay for a retreat run by Miranda Bigley, charismatic leader of the “Best Possible Me” self-help program, whose philosophy has helped Natalie deal with her recent life changes. Her plans for a relaxing weekend are disrupted when Monk tracks her down, determined to rescue her from the “cult.” Their argument is cut short when Miranda, in full view of everyone, calmly walks to the edge of a cliff and jumps off.
Even though Miranda’s death looks like suicide—especially when it’s discovered that she was on the brink of financial disaster—Natalie is sure it is murder. But Monk brushes her off to help the SFPD solve the murder of a clown, despite his fear of clowns—number ninety-nine on his list of one hundred phobias.
Natalie and Monk begin their separate investigations and are quickly caught up in situations neither one of them can handle. If they want to solve both crimes – and survive – they first need to learn how to be full partners. Can Monk handle the change?
~ Premier Virtual Author BT
Worldbuilding: The awesome world of Mr. Monk makes a great comeback in Mr. Monk Helps Himself. The contemporary San Francisco setting is sprinkled with the usual quirk and genius of Adrian Monk and Natalie’s sense of humor.
Characters: Adrian Monk is everything I remembered him to be, he’s charismatic, quirky, funny, and of course a mystery-solving genius. I loved him as I have for years.
Natalie was also fun, as usual. Since the action of this novel takes place when Natalie’s daughter is a student at Berkeley, and Natalie becomes a PI, it was fun to see the changes Monk’s ex-assistant now turning partner goes through.
Other characters I loved were part of the story as well, like Leland Stottlemeyer.
Favorite Character: Monk, of course. He’s made of win
Plot: The cozy mystery was fun and kept me fully entertained from start to finish. I loved all the investigative work Monk and the rest of the characters did, and the two cases that were worked on were as usual curious if not strange, but fascinating.
Writing: First person narrative from Natalie’s POV. The storytelling is very engaging and I was hooked from page 1 pretty much.
Curb Appeal: The cover is cool and the blurb presents the novel well. For a Monk fan like myself, this is total impulsive buy material.
All in all, this mystery was everything I expected and hoped for. I am biased though, Adrian Monk is one of my all-time favorite characters. But if you loved him, or love a good cozy mystery, I highly recommend Mr. Monk Helps Himself.
About the Author & Links:
Hy Conrad was one of the original writers on the USA Network television series Monk and stayed with the series for all eight seasons, acting as co-executive producer for the last two seasons and garnering three Edgar® Award nominations. In addition, Hy was head writer of the webisode series Little Monk and served as consulting producer and writer on the USA series White Collar.
He is the author of hundreds of short stories, dozens of interactive mysteries, and ten books of solvable whodunits, sold around the world in fourteen languages. His first mystery novel series, Abel Adventures, premiered in 2012, with the publication of Rally ’Round the Corpse. On a more humorous note, Hy is also the author of Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know.