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Mr. Monk and The Blue Flu [Format Kindle]

Goldberg Lee

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 The San Francisco City Hall was built not long after the 1906 earthquake to scream to the world that the city was back, bigger, stronger, and more opulent than ever.
The building’s Beaux-Arts flourishes, Doric columns, and Grand Baroque copper dome inspired by St. Peter’s Church in Rome meant you would never mistake it for anything but a capitol of some kind. As if the grand dome wasn’t grand enough, it’s topped with an ornate steeple and a torch that lights up at night when the City Council is meeting.
 The building always struck me as garish and pompous rather than majestic and imposing. I guess that’s fitting for a place that houses mostly politicians and bureaucrats.
 But standing in Mayor Smitrovich’s office, I felt like I was in an aquarium. There were tarpon, swordfish, and Dorados mounted on the walls, their mouths agape, forever twisting in midthrash. A pair of window cleaners worked outside, peering in at us from the other side of the glass behind the mayor. All that was missing to make the effect complete were a ceramic mermaid and a castle for us to swim around.
 “It’s a real pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Monk,” Smitrovich said, coming around the desk and shaking Monk’s hand. “I’m a big fan.”
 I handed Monk a moist towelette.
 “Really?” Monk said, wiping his hand.
“I truly appreciate your tireless efforts on behalf of this city.”
“That’s such a relief. I was beginning to think you were ignoring all my letters,” Monk said. “It’s about time someone in authority ended our city’s shame and turned Lombard from the world’s crookedest street to the straightest.”
“You want to straighten Lombard?” the mayor said.
“Whoever approved that street should have been beaten with his T-square,” Monk said. “It’s a good thing he was stopped before every street in the city looked like Lombard. It’s astonishing to me that nobody has ever bothered to correct it.”
“You know how it is, Mr. Monk,” the mayor said. “There are so many other pressing issues that demand our attention.”
“What could be more important than that?”
“Actually,” the mayor said, “that’s why I asked you here today.”
“You’re not straightening Lombard?”
“Not just yet.”
“I know you’ll face some opposition from a wacko minority of hippies and beatniks. But I’ll back you one hundred percent.”
“That’s reassuring, because I truly need your support,” the mayor said. “It’s clear to me that we both share a deep and abiding love for this great city.”
“It can’t be great as long as the world’s crookedest street is here,” Monk said. “What would be great is a city with the world’s straightest street. Just think of all the tourists who would come here to see it.”
“Millions of tourists do come to see Lombard Street,” the mayor said.
“To ridicule us,” Monk said. “Where do you think the phrase ‘those crazy Americans’ came from? Lombard Street. Fix the street and they’ll never say it again.”
“Right now, I’m more concerned about the lack of police officers reporting to work. Most of the patrol officers are on the job; it’s the detectives and supervisory personnel who aren’t showing up,” the mayor said. “It’s creating a serious public safety issue. We don’t have the manpower to investigate major felonies. You know how important the first forty-eight hours are in an investigation. Tracks are getting cold. Something must be done about this, especially with this strangler on the loose. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to pull this crap.”
“You could drop your demands for big cuts in police salaries and benefits,” I said. “I bet that would bring the detectives back to work.”
“Sure, I could give the police officers what they want,” the mayor said, shooting me an angry look before shifting his gaze back to Monk, “but then where would the money come from to straighten Lombard Street?”
Monk glanced at me. “He has a point.”
“No, he doesn’t,” I said. “With all due respect, Mr. Smitrovich, these people lay their lives on the line for us. We owe them a decent wage, affordable medical care, and a comfortable retirement.”
“And what should I tell the sewer workers, the schoolteachers, and the firefighters who aren’t enjoying the same benefits, Miss Teeger? And what do I tell the citizens who want new schools and cleaner, safer, straighter streets?”
The last bit was clearly for Monk’s benefit, but Monk wasn’t paying attention. He was tipping this way and that, trying to peer around the mayor.
The mayor looked over his shoulder to see what was distracting Monk. All he saw were two window cleaners running their blades across the glass, wiping away the soap.
“You didn’t invite Mr. Monk down here to give him the city’s party line on the labor negotiations,” I said. “You want something from him.”
“That’s true, I do,” the mayor said, addressing Monk. “I’d like your help solving the city’s homicides.”
But Monk was busy waving at the window cleaners. They waved back. Monk waved again. They waved back. Monk waved again and they ignored him.
“Mr. Monk consults for the police because of his special relationship with Captain Stottlemeyer,” I said. “He’s not going to work for another detective.”
I looked at Monk for confirmation, but now he was wiping the air with his hand palm-out in front of him. The window cleaners finally understood and soaped the window again. Monk smiled approvingly as they wiped it again with their blades.
“I don’t want him to work for any other detectives,” the mayor said. “I want them to work for him.”
“I don’t understand,” I said.
“I want to reinstate him in the San Francisco Police Department,” the mayor said. “And promote him to captain of the Homicide Division.”
“Is this some kind of joke?” I said. “Because if it is, it’s cruel.”
“I’m completely serious,” the mayor said.
Monk marched over to the window and tapped on the glass. “You missed a spot.”
The window cleaners shrugged. They couldn’t hear him. He mimed spraying the window and wiping the glass in front of him again. They shook their heads no.
I looked at the mayor. “Now I know you’re joking.”
“He’s got a better solve rate than all the detectives in the homicide department put together, and at a fraction of the cost. With Monk at the helm, the homicide department could do the same job or better than they’ve been doing, with half as many men. Besides, I think he’s ready for command.”
“Are we talking about the same man?” I said. “Look at him.”
Monk shook his head at the cleaners and pointed to the spot they had just cleaned. The two cleaners started hoisting their platform up to the next floor. Monk banged on the glass.
“Get back down here,” Monk yelled.
The mayor smiled. “I see a man with an incredible eye for detail and a commitment to sticking with a task until it’s done right.”
Monk turned to me. I hoped he’d finally say something about the mayor’s outrageous offer.
“I need a wipe,” Monk said.
“Excuse us for a moment,” I said to the mayor, then went over to Monk and handed him a wipe. “Did you hear what the mayor just said?”
Monk tore open the packet, took out the wipe, and began scrubbing the glass with it.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
Monk looked at his wipe and shook his head. “Silly me, the stain was inside.”  He turned to the mayor and held up the wipe. “Crisis solved. You can relax now.”
“Then you’ll take the job?” the mayor said.
“What job?” Monk asked.
“Captain of the Homicide Division,” the mayor said.
Monk looked at the wipe in astonishment, then at me. “This was all I had to do? All these years I’ve been working to get back in, and it comes down to this?”
“Mr. Monk,” I said quietly, so the mayor couldn’t hear me. “He’s taking advantage of you. He’s using you as a ploy to break the strike. You’ll be a scab.”
Monk’s winced with revulsion. “A scab? That sounds disgusting.”
“They are,” I said. “You’d be relieving some of the pressure on the city and undermining the officers’ efforts to get a better contract.”
“But he’s offering me my badge,” Monk said.
“He’s offering you Captain Stottlemeyer’s job,” I said.
Monk handed me the dirty wipe, then faced the mayor. “I want the job, but not at the captain’s expense.”
“You’d just be filling in until this labor situation is resolved, commanding a handful of other reinstated detectives who, for various reasons, had to leave the department,” the mayor said. “But if you do a good job, and I know you will, this temporary assignment could become a permanent position at another division. I know you want to support the captain, but think about all those crimes going unsolved. Do you want people getting away with murder?”
Monk looked at me. “How can I say no?”
“Repeat after me,” I said. “No.”
Monk considered for a minute, then turned to the mayor. “I’ll do it.”


Présentation de l'éditeur

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 426 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 295 pages
  • Editeur : Signet; Édition : Reissue (24 janvier 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°237.014 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Auteur et producteur de télévision, il a à son actif les séries : Hunter, SeaQuest, Spenser : For Hire, Diagnosis Murder, The Glades et Monk. Il a publié King City, Watch Me Die, ainsi que les histoires policières qui constituent les séries Diagnosis Murder et Monk. Il est aussi l'auteur avec Janet Evanovich de la série de bestsellers Fox & O'Hare (dont Pros and Cons, The Heist, et The Chase).

Pour plus de livres par Lee Goldberg, veuillez visiter Lee sur sa page ou sur son site

Commentaires en ligne

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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Call me hooked! 31 janvier 2009
Par Dana Mentink - Publié sur
--Ever since Monk discovered a while back that the kindly old woman I used as a babysitter murdered her husband and buried him in her backyard, day care has been a problem for me.

Call me hooked! I love a laugh out loud mystery but they're not all that easy to find. I hit upon a real winner with Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, by Lee Goldberg. Before I begin, I should confess, I've never seen the Monk show so I can judge this book purely on its own merits. I was entranced by the wonderful relationship between the nutty Monk and his faithful sidekick right from page one. It opens with a crime scene unfortunately located in a dog park and Monk's horror at having to approach the canine mine field is hilarious. The humor runs strong throughout the story but not at the expense of the mystery thread. I thought the astrological chart connection was ingenious (I resist the urge to spoil anything here) and the ragtag collection of oddball cops that Monk must bring in when he is promoted to chief during a police strike add a great dimension also.
Monk's genius is a double edged animal as he is in perpetual state of anxiety. He sees what's wrong in the world and his burden is to set it right. With an almost Sherlockian ability to make connections from the seemingly random, his struggle is both heartwarming and hilarious. Picture a tactical assault team ready to storm a building. One of the cops asks a Kevlar vested Monk if he is carrying a weapon.

--Monk reached into his pocket and pulled out half a dozen packets of disinfectant wipes. "They kill germs on contact," Monk said.
Wyatt grimaced in disgust. "Remain behind me and take cover when the shooting starts."
Monk nodded. "And when should I begin cowering?"

Now this is a hero I want to read about. I'm looking forward to enjoying all of Lee Goldberg's Monk series. Who knows? I may have to break down and watch the show. Nah. Books are always better anyway.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 outstanding detective work 1 décembre 2007
Par Paul Skinner - Publié sur
Monk is pressed into duty on the SFPD after the regular cops stage an illegal walk out. He gets a group of misfit detectives under him, and quickly has to deal with several homicides. Lots of classic Monk OCD humor, and plenty of spectacular aha moments as Monk cleans up the city. I read the Monk-Firehouse book, and thought it was very good... but this one is even better!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I MISS MONK 10 janvier 2011
Par JB - Publié sur
Achat vérifié
This is the first Monk book I have read. I really miss this show and was hoping this book would help fill the void.It did, but just a little. The story line was great, but Monk was a bit too one dimensional. His funny antics made me laugh, though they were close to over the top and the B crew he is placed in command of was over the top. Any one of them would have worked well into the story, but all together they were too much. The book was written in a way that gave Natalie more depth of character than Monk. As a big Monk fan, I know him well, and was able to fill in the gaps. Perhaps this was intended by the author, as this was written more like a 30 minute episode than a one hour movie. However, I miss the sadness, complexity and the bravery involved in facing his fears. I intend to read more of the series in search of this.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Monk fun! 19 mai 2007
Par D. Hoy - Publié sur
This is the first Monk book I have read. It's great fun. Lee Goldberg knows his characters so well. I enjoyed the plot. Having Adrian back on the force, albeit in a not-so-kosher way, made for a good story. The fact that his co-detectives were at least as defective as he was just great. Each was well-rounded and I loved the interaction of their "handlers." There were plenty of sub-plots and twists to keep the mystery going well until the end. Two of the moments where Monk is in real trouble were incredible fun. I have no complaints (except that there are typographical errors but that's not Lee's fault, I'm sure.)

I'll definitely be getting more of these books, published and future. I love this genre and this character. A great book for any Monk fan!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Blue Flu Superb Prescription for Monk Withdrawal 22 janvier 2009
Par Narrow Path Publishing - Publié sur
As a fairly new Monk fan who is becoming as obsessive with the series as Monk is with straightening paintings, I was excited to discover the Monk novel series. I chose Blue Flu as the first one I read (despite a nagging voice telling me I really ought to go in chronological order) because it sounded like an interesting premise and had gotten fairly high reviews here on Amazon.

I was not disappointed.

With few exceptions, I thought this story was vintage Monk. It opens in a dog park... or more precisely, on a hill above a dog park, as Monk is terrified of stepping in dog poo. He plans on solving an odd murder (the killer has stolen the victim's left shoe) from this vantage point. But before Monk can do his usual thing, Captain Stottlemeyer informs him that the department is planning on a "blue flu" because of budget cuts. Thus, Monk is out of a job, or so it seems. When the mayor steps in and offers Monk a chance at Stottlemeyer's job, our favorite disabled detective can't resist the allure of a badge. But captaining is different from consulting, and Monk's need to solve every crime perfectly appears to be his undoing when a series of seemingly random murders hit San Francisco.

The novel is told from assistant Natalie Teeger's point of view. Natalie mainly stays in the background, describing action as a reporter would. However, she occasionally lets the reader in on personal feelings, giving us more insight into the depth of Monk's pain and the effort he puts into ordinary living. Natalie's sympathetic nature also gives us greater understanding of secondary characters. I always found Lieutenant Disher irritating on television, but I quite liked him in this novel.

The mysteries presented within this novel are challenging, although with a little thought one can follow Monk's line of thinking far more easily than Natalie would believe possible. The novel does, from time to time, embellish Monk's disorder more than I would have liked. I had trouble believing that Monk was ignorant of terms like "blue flu" or "squat", despite the character's tendency to take things literally, and his equating vomiting with "a near death experience" seems a little bit too self-pitying. These are very minor points, however; on the whole, the novel is an enjoyable companion to the television series.
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