The Mail I Get – Long Overdue Monk Edition

I’ve been getting lots of questions about my MONK series. Here are just a few of them.

Hi Lee, quick question about the Monk books. I know they’re stand-alones, but did you intend for the characters to have gradual progressions from book 1 to book 15, which wouldn’t necessarily require the reader to read them in order, but that the reader would get more out of the overall storyline arc if they *did* read them in order?

Yes, particularly after MR. MONK IS CLEANED OUT and onwards through my last book, MR. MONK GETS EVEN. Also, early in the series, the books MR. MONK GOES TO GERMANY and MR. MONK IS MISERABLE (aka Mr. Monk Goes to France) take place basically within hours of each other, so those are best read in order.

Love the Mr Monk book series. I’m in need of a jacket cover for a hardcover book “Mr Monk on the COUCH”. Any idea where I might be able to go and get just the cover?

I don’t have a stack of dust jackets in my closet. You’ll have to buy a used book. There are plenty on Amazon and ABEbooks.

I just finished reading your last book on Monk and something bothers me. Where was the daughter of Trudy – Molly? How is it possible that she was not at the wedding Ambrose and Yuki? After all, she is part of the family. Why she was not invited to the wedding? Was there any reason why you did not mention Molly Evans in your book? Please reply.

If memory serves , I had Molly appear in “Mr Monk on The Road” and I felt that was enough attention paid to her. The character appeared briefly in the last episode of Monk, so she barely registered as a character . She wasn’t monk’s daughter, so she wasn’t related to him or Ambrose. Her character barely existed in the tv show. I saw no reason to spend any more time with a character that viewers and readers didn’t really know or care about. That approach has proven correct since you are only the second person, out of the tens of thousands of readers who bought the book, to bring her up to me in the years since the novel was published. ūüôā

Thanks for writing the Monk series. I love them. I love the way you have developed the characters, especially…all of them. I am just very disappointed that you are not going to write any more of them. If you change your mind I shall rejoice.

Thank you, but to quote a cliche, the ship has sailed on the MONK books. I won’t be doing any more. I think writing fifteen books and three Monk episodes is more than enough Monk for me!

I was wondering if you still talk to the maker of monk because if you do I was wonder if you could ask him to make a monk movie! I would love that and I know a lot of fans would love it too!

Andy Breckman wrote a MONK reunion movie several years ago for USA Network. But, from what I understand, it ended up being too expensive to produce.

I’m a HUGE fan of the Mr. Monk book series and the TV series! I’m having a very hard time finding your first book, “Mr. Monk Goes To The Firehouse” so, I was wondering if you could send me a copy at your earliest convenience. Here is my address. Please sign it, too.

I’m so glad that you enjoy the MONK books. I don’t know why you’re having troubles finding MR. MONK GOES TO THE FIREHOUSE. It is widely available from hundreds of booksellers, in some cases for as little as one penny plus postage! That said, I’m not a bookseller nor do I send out free copies of my books to anybody who asks.

I am a huge fan, I have seen the Monk tv show and read all of the Monk books.  How do I go about obtaining a copy of the short story Mr. Monk and the Seventeen steps?

The short story is actually a chapter from one of the MONK books… MR. MONK ON THE ROAD. All the short stories that were published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine were excerpts from the books that just worked as standalone stories

The Mail I Get – Mr. Monk Edition

MrMonkOnTheCouchI get lots of questions and complaints about my Monk novels. Here are just a few recent ones.

In Mr Monk On The Couch¬†there’s an attack on the ACLU that reads like a personal aside. ¬†I sure hope you really don’t feel that way. They are a wonderful group that does a lot of good works and deserve support and praise. ¬†You’ll thank me later for this pointer.

It wasn’t a personal aside. The book is written from Natalie’s POV and her views don’t always reflect mine. Nor do Monk’s. Nor do Stottlemeyer’s. Nor do the murderer’s. I often write characters who have opinions and beliefs very different than my own. It would get pretty boring if all I wrote about were characters who were identical to me.

I really enjoyed your book¬†Mr. Monk on Patrol. You named the officers in the book Officers Lindero, Woodlake, DeSoto, and Corbin which are strikingly similar to the roads in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys corresponding to Lindero Canyon Rd, Woodlake Ave, DeSoto Ave, and Corbin Ave. Considering that based on your website you are from Calabasas, I can’t help but ask if the officers are named after the roads along the Ventura Freeway (US 101) as I, myself, am from the Conejo Valley. Thank you very much!

Yes, of course they are named after Ventura Freeway exits. If I could have snuck in Tampa, Topanga, and Winnetka, I would have.  What amazes me is that you are the first person who has noticed!

You are an amazing writer, but please could you tell me why Trudys daughter isn’t mentioned in the recent books? In the last TV episode, Mr Monk found out that Trudy had a daughter and he met her and was besotted with her, but there’s no mention of her since, I am intrigued to know why?

She appears in one of my books, Mr. Monk on the Road, but she was not a character I was interested in exploring any further…nor was I much interested in that relationship. I had plenty of established characters and richer relationships to explore. I just didnt see where I could go with her character that would be much fun…or tie into solving mysteries. You’ll have to ask Hy Conrad, who is writing the books now, why he hasn’t chosen to use her.

I want to read all of the Monk books, but I don’t which ones came first and which ones came later or how many there are. Help!

Help has arrived. Here are the 18 Monk books in order, mine and Hy Conrad’s, along with some trivia about them that you might find interesting.
Monk and the Dirty Cop

Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse¬†(2006) William Rabkin and I adapted this novel into the MONK episode “Mr. Monk Can’t See a Thing.”

Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii (2006) Yes, I know about the milk error in this book. A character in this novel also appears in my novel Diagnosis Murder: The Death Merchant.

Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu¬†(2007) This book was loosely adapted into the MONK episode “Mr. Monk and the Badge.”

Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants (2007) This book is unrelated to the MONK episode that brought back Sharona, which came several years after this book was published.

Mr. Monk in Outer Space¬†(2007) Some characters in this book might be familiar to readers of my novel¬†Dead Space (aka Beyond the Beyond). Monk’s brother Ambrose also has a significant role in this novel.

Mr. Monk Goes to Germany¬†(2008) Several of the “assistants” that Natalie meets with in this book were originally introduced in¬†Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu. Monk’s adversary¬†Dale the Whale makes an appearance in this novel.

Mr. Monk is Miserable (2008) This book is a direct sequel to Germany and picks up right where the previous book left off.

Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop¬†(2009) – There is a call-back in this novel to the MONK episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Godfather,” which I wrote with William Rabkin. There are also some in-joke references to the TV series¬†Mannix¬†and¬†Murder She Wrote.

Mr. Monk in Trouble (2009) There are many, many in-joke references in this book to western authors, television series, and movies, and even radio shows. An excerpt from the book was published as The Case of the Piss-Poor Gold in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2009

Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out (2010) This book features a variation on the classic locked-room mystery.

Mr. Monk on the Road¬†(2011) This is the first book set after the final episode of the TV series and¬†features Monk’s brother Ambrose in a big way.. Excerpt:¬†Mr. Monk and the Seventeen Steps, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2010.

MM_Gets_EVEN_mm

Mr. Monk on the Couch (2011) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Sunday Paper in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, July 2011

Mr. Monk on Patrol (2012) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Open House in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in December 2011. This book features the return of Sharona and Randy Disher.

Mr. Monk is a Mess¬†(July 2012) An excerpt from the book was published as¬†¬†Mr. Monk and the Talking Car,¬†Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine May 2012. There is another call-back to the TV episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Godfather” in this novel.

Mr. Monk Gets Even¬†(January 2013) An excerpt from the book was published as¬†Mr. Monk Sees the Light in¬†Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2012. Dale the Whale and Monk’s brother Ambrose return in this book, which was my final novel in the series.

Mr. Monk Helps Himself ¬†¬†(2013) This is the first book in the series written by Hy Conrad and picks up where my books left off. It’s based on the first, unproduced draft of what ultimately became the episode “Mr. Monk Joins a Cult.”

Mr. Monk Gets On Board (2014) This is based on an unproduced episode written by Daniel Dratch. Monk creator Andy Breckman was always trying to get me to use it for one of my books, but I just didn’t feel comfortable basing one of my books on a script that I didn’t write. But Hy helped plot the story in the writers’ room with Dan, so that’s a bit different than me tackling it. Plus Hy makes some call-backs to¬†Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico,¬†an episode that Bill and I wrote.

Mr. Monk is Open For Business (Coming in June 2014) I don’t know anything about this book…except that it’s bound to be good, since Hy wrote it.