The mystery itself and the way Monk solves it (with the help of his competing assistants) was as clever as expected. However, I was disappointed with the character of Monk himself. Part of the appeal of the television series is Monk's indescribable lovableness, in spite of his obsessions and impossible expectations. That lovableness simply doesn't come through in this book, leaving Monk self-centered and grouchy.
I fan enough to read another from this series to see if this phenomenon was specific to this book. I'd love to hear recommendations from the hard-core Monk book fans out there.