Summary from GoodReads:
Some people think Hawaii is paradise. But Monk knows that danger — like dirt — lurks everywhere. Look at Helen Gruber, the rich tourist who took a fatal blow from a coconut. The police say it fell from a tree, but Monk suspects otherwise. His assistant, Natalie, isn t exactly thrilled about Monk s latest investigation. It was bad enough that Monk followed her on vacation, and now it looks as though the vacation is over….
Smooth-talking TV psychic Dylan Swift is on the island and claims to have a message from beyond — from Helen Gruber. Monk has his doubts about Swift s credibility. But finding the killer and proving Swift a fraud — all while coping with geckos and the horror of unsynchronized ceiling fans — may prove a tough coconut to crack….
Okay, you guys, Monk is probably my favorite TV show ever! I have seen every episode about a bazillion times, and I could still watch them all over again. I’ve seen the books based on the show around, but I’ve never read them. After some discussion on twitter about the books, I decided to give them a try. And although I didn’t hate the book, I have to say that I was a little disappointed.
I can’t discuss this book without comparing it to the wonderful TV show on which it is based. Monk is such an interesting character. His obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as all his phobias, can cause all sorts of problems, but they also help Monk solve crimes. And can I just say, Tony Shaloub is amazing as Mr. Monk. But what I love so much about Shaloub’s Monk, is that we can’t help but love Monk, even if we wouldn’t want to spend any time with him.
I can’t say I felt the same way about the Mr. Monk in this book. For starters, the book is told from Natalie’s (Monk’s assistant) POV, so we are a step removed from Monk. And although Monk has his normal quirks, something about it didn’t feel natural in the book.
Also, I felt like Natalie’s characterization didn’t seem to match her personality in the TV show. A lot of the things Natalie was thinking (and since we read the book from her POV, we know everything she’s thinking) didn’t feel like the Natalie from the show would think. She actually got on my nerves a bit.
Anyway, the mystery was interesting. I can’t say that it was the best mystery ever, but it was okay. And although I probably won’t read any more Monk books, I am glad that I tried it out.