Mr. Monk Goes to Germany is the sixth novel in the Monk mystery book series by Lee Goldberg, published on July 1, 2008.
When Adrian Monk's psychiatrist, Dr. Kroger, goes to a conference in Germany, Monk becomes lost without him. With Natalie's reluctant assistance, Monk follows Dr. Kroger to the charming little town of Lohr (though its charm is lost on Monk). Dr. Kroger, shocked that Adrian has followed him to Europe, reluctantly holds a session with Monk, after which Monk is much more relaxed and even solves a homicide back in San Francisco over the phone.
Natalie is prepared to enjoy a European vacation, but they get caught up in the unsolved homicides of a magazine journalist and his next-door neighbor. Monk promises his assistance to the local police but gets caught up in an even greater mystery: in the town square, he spots a man with six fingers on his right hand, the same description of the man who murdered Monk's wife, Trudy. He and Natalie follow the man back to the conference, and find that he is Sr. Martin Rahner, a psychiatrist and a close friend of Dr. Kroger's.
Horrified, Monk believes 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. Natalie believes it too, and punches Dr. Kroger in a rage. Kroger manages to calm her, and assures Monk that he is leaping to unwarranted conclusions.
But Monk's theory is strengthened when Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher do some digging 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 the journalist and his neighbor. Natalie then discovered him taking Dioxnyl, and warned him of its effects on his solving the case, although Monk informed her that he already managed to deduce exactly how Rahner managed to commit his murders, and just needed to locate and handle the evidence.
After doing some background research with the magazine in Berlin, Monk confirms that Rahner was in danger of being exposed as a fraud, embezzling funds from his own clinic. Monk and Natalie narrowly evade a murder attempt by Rahner, and manage to prove his guilt to the police. 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.
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.
Background Information and Notes
- Monk also uses Dioxnyl to combat his fear of flying in the previous novel Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii. He also mentioned beforehand that he already deduced how the psychiatrist committed the crime, and only needed to handle the evidence, which he wouldn't do in his natural state.
- In the opening chapter, Natalie has coffee with four other assistants to mentally disturbed detectives, three of whom she met in the previous 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 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 acknowledged some discontinuity between the events of his novel and the series.
- While having coffee with the other assistants, Natalie mentions that their group sometimes has other such assistants as guests, including one who plays sidekick to a false psychic working with the Santa Barbara Police Department - a clear allusion to the characters of Gus and Shawn from the series Psych, also carried on USA Network.