Mr. Monk Gets on Board
Mr. Monk #17
By Hy Conrad
Author’s Website: www.hyconrad.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie
Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective.
An all-new original mystery starring Adrian Monk, the brilliant investigator who always knows when something’s out of place…
Of all the things that make Adrian Monk uneasy, change ranks high on the list. So when Natalie completes her P.I. license—and technically becomes Monk’s boss—it’s not easy for him to accept. Nor can he accept Natalie attending a business seminar at sea without him, even if it means spending a week with her on a cruise ship.
Between choppy waters and obnoxious kids, Monk finds himself in a perfect storm of anxiety. Luckily, Mariah, the cruise director, is always able to smooth things over…until someone pulls the man overboard alarm, the ship drops anchor—and the crew fishes Mariah’s dead body out of the water.
Finding alcohol in Mariah’s system, the ship’s doctor declares her death an accident, but Monk isn’t convinced. He knows that Mariah and the captain were having an affair. Could someone have pushed her overboard?
When the captain hires Monk and Natalie to look into a mysterious rash of vandalism onboard, Monk steers the investigation toward murder…(from Goodreads)
When first learning that the Mr. Monk series would be authored by someone other than Lee Goldberg, I wasn’t sure it would ever be the same again – after all, who else could reflect the thoughts of Natalie and Adrian other than the man who had written the first 15 books? Who indeed – Hy Conrad, one of the original writers of the Monk television show. Who, as Lee Goldberg had been, with Monk through the eight seasons of the ups and downs of psychotherapy and neuroses. Hy Conrad had been a writer for the first six years of Monk, and co-executive producer for the last two seasons.
An interesting note is that this novel was based on the “lost” episode #126 of Monk. While not even one of the scripts for the entire eight years had to be scrapped and re-written, this couldn’t be filmed only because they had been unable to find a cruise line that would let one of their cruise ships be used for the episode. As has been typical, the chronicler of the novel is Natalie Teeger, who has worked for Monk for several years. Natalie is the owner of her and Mr. Monk’s new PI firm and is technically Mr. Monk’s boss. Monk, however, takes second place to nobody with his brilliant, unique view of life and crime scenes.
As Natalie and Mr. Monk wrap up a murder, Natalie learns of a short cruise for business owners. Since it sounds like a good place for her to soak up a few rays while attending sessions on various aspects of their firm and make new business contacts, Natalie made her reservation. Adrian Monk, not a good traveller, was staying behind. At least, Natalie thought so until she’s at the pier and finds the world class detective getting aboard with his enormous stack of luggage and necessities.
If Mr. Monk appears, a crime scene is soon to follow (if it isn’t already there)! In the midst of Natalie trying to soothe the detective’s neuroses between meeting new people, accidents begin to happen amongst the business people aboard. Deaths begin to occur … and in the confines of even a good-size cruise ship, it is only a matter of time before the guilty party goes after Mr. Monk.
Mr. Monk is one of my favorite detectives and favorite neurotics. This series continues to improve with each book, and Mr. Monk Gets on Board does not disappoint this reader. The character development of those new in this story is excellent, and settings are described so well that I felt a part of the action. Natalie’s years of working with the great Adrian Monk, as well as her PI training, have opened her eyes to attempt to see crime scenes as Monk does. Further, seeing Mr. Monk and his challenges through Natalie’s eyes give the reader a better understanding of his attempts to coexist between his brilliant neuroses and the rest of the world that the television show couldn’t quite convey. Mr. Monk’s unique quirks are a poignant reminder of the life crises he has endured so that even though we laugh at some of them, there are times we can see that there is a bit of Monk in every one of us.
This Mr. Monk novel gets my high recommendation for young adult and adults of any age! Readers who enjoyed the previous novels or the TV show will definitely want to read this one. If you haven’t read (or watched) Mr. Monk in the past, and want to read a mystery that includes unexpected plot twists and detours seasoned with a bit of humor, you won’t want to miss Mr. Monk Gets on Board. Even if there were no murder or “accidents”, reading of Mr. Monk’s panic struggles on board a moving ship in the ocean is worth it!