Wednesday, February 07, 2007


As expected, Mr. Monk and The Blue Flu has the distinct humor of USA Network's hit series. Goldberg raises the stakes in his third tie-in novel, however, with his most pressing background event to date. With a left shoe-stealing strangler at large during a San Francisco PD sick-out, the mayor offers to reinstate Adrian Monk with a promotion to captain of homicide, in charge of an oddball team of replacement officers.

All I ask as a fan is that my favorite characters face people and situations that truly challenge their abilities and sensibilities. Monk jumps at the chance to regain his badge, but doing so not only strains his friendship with Capt. Stottlemyre, it also forces the aloof Adrian to work with others, juggle several cases instead of obsessing on one.

With any tie-in, the question is, "What can the adaptation offer that the original can't?" Goldberg offers a premise rife with external and internal conflict, not easily resolved in an hour of television but just right for a novel.

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