Done: Mr. Monk is a Mess by Lee Goldberg, 2012, 9780451236876.
Yes, he is.
All these novels are told by Monk's assistant, Natalie. The books have to be told that way. If Monk narrated the story everything would be told by bullet pointed lists with lectures on cleanliness.
Natalie and Monk are in New Jersey working as cops for the police department now run by Randy Dischler. Goldberg gives his Dischler more brains and skills than the television version. Monk and Natalie are offered full-time jobs by Dischler and return to San Francisco to pack up and move to New Jersey.
Natalie gets home and finds a dead woman in her bathtub. Things happen. Someone else dies. The FBI accuses Monk and Natalie of stealing a few hundred thousand bucks from the FBI evidence room. Monk is nuts and self-absorbed. Monk's brother is nuts and missing his new girlfriend. Monk does not want to help find his brother's tattooed girlfriend. Natalie has to threaten and cajole Monk to do the things he does not want to do. Monk figures everything out.
1. These novels are as much about Natalie as Monk This one is even more of a Natalie book. Natalie's daughter is out of the house in college. Natalie is now a police officer. Natalie has proven herself as a perceptive and observant investigator. Natalie knows she needs to keep moving past the memory of her dead husband.