should be dry-roasted," he
proclaimed to one and all. "Has
anybody ever tried dry-roasted chicken?
Or dry-roasted granola? The possibilities
thought the flight would never end.
doesn't realize how lucky she is
that no one was actually murdered
on the plane.)
the effects of the medication have
worn off Monk discovers that Hawaii
is not his idea of paradise and
Natalie learns that a vacation with
Monk is no vacation. Quicker than
you can say Prince of Darkness,
Monk spoils a wedding and a fellow
hotel guest falls victim to the
Monk curse. ("Stop calling
me the Prince of Darkness. That's
how rumors get started.") Even
though the local police have concluded
she was accidentally killed by a
falling coconut, Monk knows she
was murdered. All the clues and
a TV psychic point to her philandering
young husband, but Monk realizes
there's more to it.
Monk Goes to Hawaii is the
second Monk novel by Lee Goldberg.
This one is also told from the perspective
of Monk's assistant Natalie Teeger.
In fact the author has settled so
comfortably into her voice you almost
expect to see her name on the cover.
This is the kinder, gentler Natalie
she's grown to be on the show. This
is the Natalie I'd like to spend
more time with: funny, strong, loving
Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse
having the story told from her viewpoint
created a bit of a barrier between
Monk and the reader, which required
some adjustment from long time Monk
fans. However, in this novel, by
removing them from their natural
habitat we get a deeper exploration
of their relationship and a better
understanding of Adrian Monk through
The change of scenery also means
that the novel is virtually SFPD
free. On Kauai, the character of
Lt. Ben Kealoha fills the gap left
by Stottlemeyer and Disher. This
isn't the first time Lt. Kealoha
has dealt with a crazy haole [foreigner].
He was introduced in the Diagnosis
Murder novel The Death Merchant
by Lee Goldberg, where Dr. Mark
Sloan takes a Hawaiian vacation
with similarly predictable results.
too great," Monk said. "I
never trust people with great alibis.
Or people who drink soda directly
from the can. Or people who pierce
any part of their bodies."
have pierced ears," I said.
do I," Kealoha said. ""Nipples,
definitely like to know more about
Kealoha. Maybe he can visit Monk
in San Francisco one day.
my one and only visit to Hawaii
the luau was the only disappointing
part. It rained, so we had it indoors.
On the other hand, Monk and Natalie's
luau absolutely rocked, but I won't
spoil it for you by describing the
book marks the first time that Summit
NJ has been immortalized in literature.
At least I'm betting it's the first
time. The mention in the book is
a nod to the Monk writing
staff who toil in Summit rather
than in Los Angeles where most television
writers are found. Reportedly they
have a lot more fun.
a solid mystery and I found the
solution particularly satisfying.
No doubt fans will catch a few errors,
but I didn't notice any.... except
that Monk and Natalie are flying
out of LAX and Monk's still eating
cereal (but I didn't notice any
mention of milk: he could be eating
it dry.) By and large though, it's
very consistent with the series
and yet charmingly enhanced by Natalie's
Goldberg once said,"I want
to capture the feel of the series,
but also I want these books to stand
on their own. They’re original
novels. They’re not based
on episodes. So I want them to almost
read as if they’re the books
the TV series is based on."
I think that's what he's achieved
with Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii.
Monk season consists of only sixteen
episodes a year, which allows the
writers and cast to deliver consistent
quality, but a loyal fan is left
wanting more. A couple of Monk novels
a year sure helps. I'm not sure
how that equation will work if they
keep making episodes based on the
novels (as with upcoming episode
Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing based
on Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse.)
However, I'm pretty sure they can't
afford to film in Hawaii.
novel ends with an excerpt from
Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu which
will be released early next year.
Looks like San Francisco has a new
fictional Mayor in Blue Flu and
he shares the last name of a favorite
actor of mine, Smitrovich. Bill
Smitrovich played Inspector
Cramer in A&E's
Nero Wolfe, for which Lee Goldberg
and William Rabkin wrote. Coincidence?
I'm thinking, not.
your eyes, woman. There are lizards
on the wall. This is a full-wipe
situation." — Adrian