Mr. Monk Goes to Germany
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (January 2012)|
1st edition 2008 hardback cover
|Series||Monk mystery novel series|
|July 1, 2008|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Mr. Monk in Outer Space|
|Followed by||Mr. Monk is Miserable|
Adrian Monk is solving crimes left and right like never before, including the murders of a couple in the Federal Witness Protection Program. However, when Dr. Kroger, Monk's psychiatrist, announces that he is going to a conference in Lohr, Germany, Monk falls completely apart, not the least because he is not going to see Dr. Jonah Sorenson, the one-armed psychiatrist he had seen in the season 5 episode "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink" when Dr. Kroger briefly ran into retirement. Eventually, Monk relaxes and makes the decision to actually stalk Dr. Kroger to Lohr. Even more so, his assistant Natalie Teeger is willing to help. Natalie has her own reasons not to stop Monk, mostly because of payback for the time that Dr. Kroger used medication to enable Monk to follow her to Hawaii (Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii).
As Monk has a fear of flying, he is drugged with Dioxynl, a drug that relieves him of his compulsions and phobias (but which also limits his ability to solve crimes, as demonstrated in the season 3 episode "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine"). When Monk and Natalie land at Frankfurt International Airport, they rent a car and drive into Lohr. Lohr is renowned for its glassworks which produced mirrors that could see the truth, inspiring the magic mirror in most versions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Natalie also mentions the similarities between the fairy tale and the story of Sophie Margaret von Erthal, the baroness who lived in the castle outside of Lohr.
Shortly after they arrive, the Dioxynl wears off and Monk is back to himself and he has a sudden outburst when he spots a man with six fingers on his right hand, matching the description of the man who killed Trudy. When Monk shows up at the Franziskushohe, where the conference is being held, Dr. Kroger is at first unable to register the thought of Adrian being in Germany. He angrily criticizes Natalie for enabling her boss to follow him all the way over to Germany. Natalie sets Monk up with his appointment. He emerges more relaxed then ever, and even solves a homicide in San Francisco over the phone (reflecting on a scene in the season 2 episode "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy" where Monk solved a homicide in Paris over the phone).
Natalie is prepared to enjoy a European vacation, but they get caught up in the unsolved homicides of magazine journalist Bruno Leupolz and his next-door neighbor Axel Vigg. Monk promises his services over to the local homicide captain, Hauptkriminalkommisar Stoffmacher. Examining the scene, Monk finds that the killer fired a gunshot into the wall to scare Bruno Leupolz to death (but used a pillow as a silencer), and accidentally killed Vigg. So the killer then disguised Vigg's death as a suicide.
Later, Monk and Natalie follow the six-fingered man Monk had seen back to the Franziskushohe where Dr. Kroger is staying. The man's name is Dr. Martin Rahner, who runs a mountain retreat for people with physical abnormalities. But when Monk sees Rahner getting his picture taken with Dr. Kroger, he is horrified, realizing that Dr. Kroger is part of a conspiracy: whoever ordered Trudy's death also wanted Monk kept under control to prevent him from ever re-joining the police department. He runs away from the hotel in terror. Natalie also believes it, and shortly after Monk vanishes, she punches Dr. Kroger in a rage. Kroger manages to calm Natalie down and assure her that she and Monk are leaping to unwarranted conclusions. Monk is convinced that Dr. Rahner is guilty of something, whether of killing Trudy or of killing someone else.
Natalie later finds Bruno Leupolz's dead body on a hiking trail, and Monk finds the laptop that was missing from Leupolz's apartment. Whoever killed him also took his laptop's hard drive. Monk's next appointment with Dr. Kroger is at the inn where he and Natalie are staying. He asks Dr. Kroger about the injuries on his nose. Kroger explains that he received them the day before when Natalie attacked him, which she proudly admits to doing. Monk's theory that Dr. Kroger is part of a conspiracy is strengthened further when Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher do some digging back in the States and find that Rahner was in the Bay Area two weeks before Trudy's death, on a lecture tour funded by Monk's old enemy, Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck.
To prove that Rahner is innocent, Dr. Kroger encourages Monk and Natalie to take a tour of Rahner's special clinic, a mountain retreat for people with physical abnormalities. At the end of the tour, Monk says he's convinced that Rahner didn't kill Trudy - he only killed Bruno Leupolz and Axel Vigg.
Here's What Happened
After doing some background research with the magazine in Berlin, Monk finds that Dr. Rahner was about to be exposed as a fraud who was embezzling money from his clinic. After Monk and Natalie escape a murder attempt by Dr. Rahner, they present their proof to the police.
Rahner went to Bruno Leupolz, the journalist, to destroy any evidence against him. He used one of the pillows as a silencer and fired a shot into the wall, scaring Leupolz to the point that he died of a heart attack. Rahner had accidentally killed Axel Vigg, so he made Vigg's death look like a suicide and then took any evidence of foul play from Leupolz's apartment. The drawstring on the trash bag containing the evidence is tied in a way similar to the knots on the shoes Dr. Rahner wears. Although Rahner is angered by Monk's claims, Monk explains that when you have six fingers on your right hand, you can't find a perfect set of gloves. Rahner poked a hole in one of the gloves he used in the murder to fit his extra finger in, and then he cut off a finger from another glove to cover it. Even more so, using the pillow as a silencer caused Dr. Rahner to get feathers all over his clothes. He was still covered in feathers when Monk first encountered him at the conference and Natalie had attacked Dr. Kroger.
Rahner confesses to his crimes, and Monk asks him, point-blank, if he killed Trudy. Rahner swears he didn't, and Monk believes him.
Impressively, Monk managed to solve the case even while under the influence of his special anti-OCD medication, Dioxnyl, which alleviates his phobias but cripples his amazing observational and deductive abilities, as shown in the season 3 episode "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine".
While under the influence of the drug, Monk cheerfully allows himself to be photographed in a state of abnormal filthiness. Natalie, deciding that she'll never have another chance for a European vacation, uses the photo to blackmail Monk into agreeing to stopping for a few days in Paris, France, on their way home, a direct tie in to the next novel, Mr. Monk is Miserable.
- Three of the assistants that Natalie has coffee with in the beginning of the novel - Sparrow, Arnie, and Jasper - previously appeared in the novel Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu.
- The book's conclusion is a direct lead-in to the succeeding novel, Mr. Monk is Miserable.
- The book was written before, but published after, the airing of the TV episode "Mr. Monk Is On The Run," which featured the re-appearance of Dale "The Whale" and introduced additional clues in Monk's search for Trudy's killer. Because of this, Goldberg's foreword acknowledges some discontinuity between the events of this novel and the events of the series. The forewords put the events of this novel and the direct sequel Mr. Monk is Miserable before the events of "Mr. Monk Is On The Run" and after the events of the season 6 episode "Mr. Monk Paints His Masterpiece".
List of characters
Characters from the television series
- Adrian Monk: the titular detective, played on the television series by Tony Shalhoub
- Natalie Teeger: Monk's loyal assistant, and the narrator of the book, played on the series by Traylor Howard
- Dr. Charles Kroger: Monk's psychiatrist, played on the series by Stanley Kamel
- Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Captain of the San Francisco Police Department's Homicide Division, Monk's oldest friend and former partner, played on the series by Ted Levine
- Lieutenant Randy Disher: Stottlemeyer's right-hand man, played on the series by Jason Gray-Stanford
- Julie Teeger: Natalie's teenaged daughter, played on the series by Emmy Clarke
- Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck: Monk's nemesis, a morbidly obese billionaire currently serving life in prison for conspiracy to murder, played on the series by Adam Arkin, Tim Curry, and Ray Porter.
- Hauptkriminalkommisar Stoffmacher: Captain of Homicide, Lohr Polizei. The Captain's name is actually a linguative pun: the proper English translation of Hauptkriminalkommisar is Main forensics commissioner. Stoffmacher translates as German for material maker or fabric maker, and is a thinly veiled version of Stottlemeyer's name.
- Kommissar Geshir: Stoffmacher's right-hand man. Geschirr roughly translates as being plural for plates or dishes, effectively making it a German translation of Randy's last name.
- Heiko and Friderike Schmidt: owners of the bed-and-breakfast that Monk and Natalie take up residence at.
- Dr. Martin Rahner: German psychiatrist, specializing in counseling for people born with physical abnormalities; has six fingers on his right hand;
- Goldberg, Lee (2008). Mr. Monk Goes to Germany. City: NAL Hardcover. ISBN 0-451-22099-4.
- Amazon (2008). "Mr. Monk Goes to Germany". Amazon. ISBN 0451220994.
- Allan Hall (February 14, 2002). "Once upon a time, Snow White lived in Bavaria". Irish Independent. "THE real Snow White has been unmasked at last. After 17 years of research by fabulist study group, Lohr in Bavaria says that the fairytale heroine of the Brothers Grimm lived there. Karlheinz Bartels, a pharmacist and chairman of the fabulists, believes they have constructed a compelling case showing that Snow White was Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal. Little wonder that the fairytale brothers decided on a more user-friendly name."