MR. MONK IS A MESS came out eight weeks ago and has been getting some great reviews. Here's a sampling. Debra Hamel at Book-Blog says, in part:
The book picks up where Mr. Monk on Patrol left off, with Monk and his assistant Natalie Teeger temporarily employed as police offers in Summit, New Jersey. They eventually return to San Francisco with big plans in mind, but Natalie's homecoming is less than idyllic: suffice it to say that her house is soon cordoned off with police tape, and things don't look good for her and Monk. While they're trying to get the FBI off their backs, Natalie and Monk are also tasked with helping Monk's agoraphobic brother Ambrose, a storyline that leads to a very moving, very satisfying conclusion. There is less humor in this book than in previous installments, but plenty of heart. The novel ends with our crime-fighting duo on the verge of huge changes in their lives. I'm eager to see how Goldberg will wrap things up, but also very sad to see his involvement with the series coming to an end.
And Lorie Ham at Kings River Life says, among other thngs:
This plot has a little bit of everything including mobsters, the FBI, love, marriage and changing friendships. It’s been fun to see how Natalie and Monk have both grown and changed throughout this series on TV and the books. In this one not only do we have Monk’s quirky brilliance, but Natalie continues to grow as a detective. Is it possible Monk could now survive without Natalie? Or maybe more important, can Natalie survive without Monk?
As always Lee does a great job of bringing these familiar characters to life and providing the reader with a fun mystery filled with twists and turns. I have to admit I didn’t see the ending coming and I can’t wait for the next and final Monk book coming in January.
And Bill Crider remarks that:
I've mentioned time and again how much I've enjoyed these books, and this one's no exception. It's very funny, and it marks another step in the changes that have been occurring as the series progresses[…]The ending is entirely satisfactory, as you'd expect from Goldberg, and it looks as if the next novel will be taking a somewhat new direction. Don't wait for that one, though. Get this one. You'll thank me later. It has laughs, heart, mysteries, and deft plotting, all the things that have made reading the series such a pleasure.
Mark Baker at epinions says this may be the best "Monk" book yet:
While I do still miss watching Monk's antics on TV, the novels based on the series have been a nice way to revisit these great characters. But as the novels have continued post TV series finale, the characters have grown even stronger. The journey they've been on continues in Mr. Monk is a Mess, which I think is my favorite to date. […]But the real star here is the characters. In the books since the series ended, author Lee Goldberg has been letting them grow in some interesting new ways that still feel very true to the characters established in the series. That continues here for all of them, and it is a great thing to watch. Since they are the main characters, Natalie and Monk get the most development, but the supporting characters from the TV series still get their moments. It will please any fan of the show, especially someone who's been reading the books all along.
The show certainly had many comedic moments, and I found plenty more to laugh about here. In fact, it amazes me that after so many TV episodes and novels (this is the fourteenth novel), Monk continues to surprise and amuse me, but he does.
Those who have avoided the novels have done so at their own detriment. They are so much fun and continue the series in a great way. Mr. Monk is a Mess could be enjoyed on its own, but to really get it, you need to read the rest of the book series first.
I appreciate all the great review Debra, Lorie, Bill and Mark, as well as all the five-star reviews from readers on Amazon.