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By Lee Goldberg

A Signet Book, January, 2006 ($6.99)
ISBN: 0-451-21729-2

Reviewed by Dawn Crawford

Adrian Monk was a member of the San Francisco Police Department, but he left the force a number of years ago, after his wife died in tragic circumstances. He is a brilliant man with a sharp mind and an ability to solve puzzles that others cannot. His special talent enables him to solve murders that would otherwise leave the police baffled.

The problem is Monk has a compulsive disorder that affects his very existence. To name but a few idiosyncrasies, and believe me there are many -- he must have an even amount of buttons on his shirts and suit jackets; he is also a clean freak and is always concerned with the number of germs floating around. (I have to admit, that after reading this book, I too, found I washed my hands more often.) He really gives you something to think about. However his obsession is taken to the nth degree.

In this book Monk sets out to discover who killed the local firehouse dog and in the process uncovers a number of other crimes.

This book is humorous and easy to read, although some sections seem far-fetched. You have to take this book in the context in which it is written; a fun story to read on a lazy afternoon, or any day, for that matter.

Edcom: There are two more books currently scheduled in the Mr. Monk series, due to be published in 2007. MR. MONK AND THE BLUE FLU is scheduled for release in paperback, January 2, 2007 and may be pre-ordered now at MR. MONK AND THE TWO ASSISTANTS is scheduled for publication in hardcover, to be released in July, 2007.

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