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MR. MONK IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS (MR. MONK, BOOK #18) BY HY CONRAD: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, June 2, 2014

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5 star rating
Mr. Monk is Open for Business
Mr. Monk Series, Book #18
By Hy Conrad
ISBN# 9780451470560
Author’s Website:  www.hyconrad.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie

*Beware of Possible Spoilers*

mr-monk-is-open-for-business-mr. monk-hy-conradSynopsis:

An all-new story starring Adrian Monk by Edgar® Award–nominated Monk screenwriter and coexecutive producer Hy Conrad.

It’s compulsive, page-turning fun.

Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective.

An all-new original mystery starring Adrian Monk, the brilliant investigator who always knows when something’s out of place…

After failing to win back his girlfriend Ellen in Summit, New Jersey, Monk returns to San Francisco where he is surprised to find another relationship has taken a new turn. Natalie decided to make things official by setting up an office for Monk and Teeger, Consulting Detectives. With Monk’s typical response to change of any kind, they have more than a few wrinkles to iron out of their new routine. But when Lieutenant Amy Devlin comes to them for help, it’s time to stop bickering and get to work.

A disgruntled employee of a small import business, Wyatt Noone came into work one day and started shooting, killing three co-workers and leaving one female hostage severely wounded. Spotting Wyatt through the office windows, the police surrounded the building, but he still managed to disappear—leaving Lieutenant Devlin with a messy and baffling mystery on her hands.

Visiting the bed-ridden survivor, Sarabeth Winslow, Monk finds her to be helpful, cooperative and—now that he’s on the rebound from Ellen—quite charming as well.  But as he and Natalie try to track down Sarabeth’s assailant, they discover that Wyatt has left barely a trace of his past behind, almost as if he managed to disappear from existence all together… (from Goodreads)

Review:

Now that the new Monk and Teeger Consulting Detectives office is open for business, Mr. Monk has a new place to obsessively clean and Natalie feels they can reflect the professional image that will attract more clients than their long-term affiliation with the  San Francisco Police Department.  If Mr. Monk doesn’t antagonize all of the other business owners in the strip mall where their office is located, that is.

Our Obsessive Compulsive Detective has let go of some of his neuroses over the years, at least enough to have had a lady friend (emphasis on “friend”) to have rejected him just because he found her brother guilty of murder.  He now has his own chauffeur who is available when Natalie isn’t.  And he even packs a lunch each day for himself and Natalie to eat at the office – very neatly prepared Spam sandwiches. This reader must be slightly OCD as well, as it is so hard to imagine Monk out with any female other than Natalie!

M & T’s first official case is from an attorney whose client, Henry Pickler, is accidentally discovered in his back yard with a completely clean, new shovel and the still-warm, yet very dead body of a mobster’s henchman.  He refuses to speak, either to his high-dollar attorney or his new PI team of Monk and Teeger.  Before the body has even cooled off or Mr. Pickler could be broken down by Monk’s questions, Captain Leland Stottlemeyer of SFPD calls with an emergency.

Their priority case is at a nearby company where one employee was shooting other employees.  Police were aware of one known survivor, a young woman who had been shot but not fatally.  SWAT and negotiators were in place.  In short order, they get into the warehouse with EMT’s to rescue the lone survivor and find the gunman.  Only  the gunman is long gone, leaving only a little pile of clothing and shoes.  Wyatt Noone, the reclusive accountant, is the accused gunman, and he seems to have disappeared into thin air.  The victim, Sarabeth Willow, is at the hospital when the team of Monk and Teeger follow up with her.  Not only is her story of the mysterious Wyatt surprising, but Adrian’s reaction to Sarabeth is even more stunning.  He is gentle, kind, and caring, as if Sarabeth were his very own treasure.  Monk, blinded in the blush of a rebound romance, can’t see beyond Sarabeth, leaving Natalie and Lieutenant Amy Devlin on their own to find Wyatt Noone.  And when it is learned by the owner of the company, just arrived from Japan, that Noone had also embezzled from the company, Natalie and Amy know there is more to the story than what meets Adrian’s caring hands.

It doesn’t matter how many Monk reruns I watch, or how many books I read, each one is like opening a new gift.  With Natalie’s skillful narration, this book can stand alone easily or be read with the rest of the series.  Adrian Monk is still an enigma, more than capable of solving crimes that others find impossible while still being one of the most neurotic individuals ever.  Some of his traits are endearing, others annoying, and still others are wildly funny (such as the method he uses to cut his own hair).  Natalie has become quite the professional businesswoman and PI.  Her daughter Julie is now an adult and wants to be an unpaid intern for Natalie and Adrian.  Adrian’s agoraphobic brother Ambrose, who still lives in the old family home, is now married to Yuki, a tattooed Harley-riding Japanese cooking expert.  It is so hard for me to select just one favorite character, as they are like one large family unit – if you love one, you  love ‘em all!

Each character grows without losing a bit of their charm.  That he took a risk on a lady friend rather than continuously mourn for his late, murdered wife, Trudy, is huge progress from the Adrian Monk we saw when the wildly popular television show ended its eighth year.  He has not yet, however, given up using wipes after he comes in contact with anything he has not already sanitized, including the hands of those who aren’t aware that he doesn’t shake.  He is still the same Monk, just a little less … different.

I highly recommend this to every Monk fan!  Adults of all ages will enjoy the latest offering in the Mr. Monk series, especially those who enjoy humorous cozies with mysteries that are not easily solved before Mr. Monk dissociates until his only focus is the crime.  He still doesn’t need the internet, cell phones, or a GPS.  The Obsessive Compulsive Detective is still “in”. And now he is Open for Business, thanks to Hy Conrad.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*

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