My 14th and second-to-last Monk novel, MR. MONK IS A MESS, comes out today. It's a direct sequel to my earlier book, MR. MONK ON PATROL and it resolves, to some degree, the cliffhanger ending of that book. Here's the story…
No one likes to come home to a mess–least of all Monk and Natalie. But when they return briefly to San Francisco from an extended stay working as cops in New Jersey, Natalie discovers somebody has been sleeping in her bed. But this Goldilocks is not asleep. She's dead.
If that's not bad enough, investigators find marked money from a Federal sting operation stuffed under Natalie's mattress. Now her life is a real mess and she needs Monk's help to clean it up.
But Monk has problems of his own. His brother Ambrose is desperate to find Yuki, his missing lover, but his agoraphobia prevents him from leaving the house. Ambrose needs a man on the outside–and that man is Monk, who is torn, because he's glad to see her go.
As the two investigations begin, and the body count rises, it quickly becomes clear to Monk that Yuki has a dangerous past…and that they are pursuing a ruthless, cold-blooded killer that nobody would ever want to mess with…
It was a lot of fun to write, because the relationships between all of the characters were very much in flux, and it meant that Monk had to approach the world, and his cases, in an entirely new way. It also made things more challenging, surprising and interesting for me, setting the stage for the final book in the series (well, at least the last one that I've written)
I'll be signing the book on June 6th at the Barnes & Noble in Evansville, IN and June 14-17 at the International Mystery Writers Festival in Owensboro KY, and June 23 at Mysteries to Die For bookstore in Thousand Oaks, CA. I hope if you're near one of those places when I am signing that you'll stop by.
11 thoughts on “Mr. Monk is a Mess”
Mr. Goldberg, I am as big a fan of your Mr. Monk novel series as was I of the TV series. You succinctly capture all of the nuances characteristic of each Monk (show) characters..Natalie, Randy, Chief S., etc.. My question comes refers to a statement made by you in your introduction of Mr. Monk is a Mess (which I am excitedly reading at present). You stated “It also continues a narrative arc in Monk and Natalie’s relationship”. Could you further expound on this narrative arc? Also do you allow affiliate linking of your website on other blogs? Thank you for your time and keep writing! Reca B. (S.C.)
Second to last…?You should write at least one hundred of these books,and I’m only on my second from the collection and have been really enjoying them so far as I did the show!
Just wanted to let you know you were the hit of a third grade classroom in Alexandria, Virginia.
I was doing a school visit as part of my library’s summer reading program. I always start by asking the children what they are currently reading. “Magic Tree House!” said one little boy. “Tuesdays at the Castle!” said another.
A little girl with beads in her braids raised her hand and said “Mr. Monk in Outer Space!”
The jaw of the little boy in front of me dropped. “Monk’s a book? Wow!”
Looks like you have a new generation of readers coming up!
Shari Randall (we met briefly at Malice)
I just finished reading Mr. Monk is a Mess, and I had to come see the comments you have made about this book. I was relieved to see that it is not the last book, but saddened to see that it is almost the last in the series. I had to check because, to me, it felt like the story had come full circle; completed itself in a way, like the story arc was finished at the end of the TV series. I’ll be interested to see where you take the characters for their last “ride” together, although I’ll keep hoping that it is not really the end. Does Andy have any input on where you take the characters (just curious)?
As much as I enjoyed the TV series, and “see” those characters in my head as I read, I’ve always thought that the way you write the characters is every bit as good, if not better, than what was portrayed on-screen. I thank you for each and every book.
I love the Monk books; the great thing is the continuous character development that we get to see in spite of the show ending. They are very well written and best of all, the books are consistent with the TV series. Even though I don’t have very much time to read anymore, I have read the whole MONK series.
I loved the show Diagnosis Murder as a child, too. Very sad to hear that you won’t be writing any more Monk books. Thank you for continuing on this long.
I finished reading “Mr. Monk is a Mess” and loved it! I agree that the changes being made are interesting, enjoyable, and appropriate (although sad, too!) and there were several moments I found myself being touched by the book and these characters. I’m a sucker for Monk and Natalie moments, and this book was very satisfying in that respect…as all of the books in the series have been.
With that said, I’m left dying to know what angle the next book is going to take, especially seeing as the end of “Mess” reads like a finale in and of itself. As I read the last chapter, I actually had to reassure myself that there will be one more book because for a moment I thought, “Wait! Was I wrong and THIS is the last book???” So…is there any way you could give us a brief plot teaser for “Mr. Monk Gets Even”?
I also have a question that came up as I tried to find such a plot tease to see if one existed already…in an old blog post that I stumbled upon, you said that “Mr. Monk Gets Even” was going to be the title of your 11th book. What changed?
Thanks, and congratulations on such a successful and terrific book series! 🙂
Thank you everyone for all the nice things you said about MR. MONK IS A MESS and the book series as a whole. I’m not going to reveal anything about the plot of MR. MONK GETS EVEN yet…but I will say there have been some big changes in Monk’s life and bigger ones are looming…not just for him, but for everyone in his life. And speaking of big things, Dale the Whale makes an unwelcome return.
Yes, I did intend to use the title MR. MONK GETS EVEN a few novels back…but then decided to save it for my final book.
Yes, Linda, Andy has input. He approves every story before I start writing and every manuscript before its published. He has been extremely supportive of all the creative choices I’ve made with the books.
Beatrice wrote: “I loved the show Diagnosis Murder as a child, too.”
Oh, God, I feel so OLD. 🙂
I just saw the book description for MR.MONK GETS EVEN on Amazon and it sounds terrific!!!!! Just one question….the description makes it sound like Monk himself will be narrating this book. Is that true? I hope that Natalie’s not out of the picture yet…I was hoping this final book would be a way to temporarily bring her back, see how she’s doing in Summit, etc. While I think a Monk narration could be really interesting, I would miss Natalie’s narration and description of Monk and his quirks.