Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And more Monk...

Three more Monk stories. I was going to take a break from the series, but a new development concerning the characters happened at the very end of A Breach of Promise.
Monk and Hester finally realize their love for each other and agree to marry. I had to find out what married life would be like for the new Mr. and Mrs. Monk, so I went ahead and read The Twisted Root. The third book, Slaves of Obsession had the couple going to America. So, I had to see what that would be like.
I'm still reading the series and will write about the next book, Funeral in Blue in the next post.

9. A Breach of Promise The Melville Case
Killian Melville is being sued for a breach of promise by his alleged fiance, Zillah. Killian claims that he never proposed marriage, but Zillah's parents disagree. Oliver Rathbone takes the case against his better judgement (as usual). Killian will give no reason why he can't marry Zillah. The mystery is puzzling to Rathbone and Monk alike. It seems that it's a hopeless case for Killian and one that is sure to ruin his reputation. But then the unthinkable happens. This was a really good one, with lots of twists and turns.
Perhaps all of the talk of marriage inspires Monk and Hester because they finally get together in a very satisfying ending to the book.

10. The Twisted Root The Gardiner Case
Miriam Gardiner suddenly leaves her engagement party with no explanation to anyone, not even her shocked fiance. Monk is hired to find Miriam but instead finds the coachman who drove Miriam away dead on the doorstep of Miriam's foster mother.
More twists and turns in this mystery. We also get to see Monk and Hester struggle with life as newlyweds. It doesn't help that they are projecting Miriam's pre-nuptial doubts upon their own marriage.

11. Slaves of Obsession The Alberton Case
Daniel Alberton, a gun dealer, has sold a large quantity of guns to an American from the Confederate States. He sees it simply as a business deal, but his daughter, Merritt, is horrified. Her sympathies lie with the Union - rather, she is anti-slavery. So, she is pro-Union States. Lyman Breeland has come to Alberton to convince him to cancel the deal with Philo Trace, the Confederate. He tries to appeal to Alberton's sense of morality and justice. But to Alberton, a deal is a deal.
Well... Alberton goes and gets himself murdered. Lyman Breeland dissapears, along with Merritt. Monk is hired by the grieving widow and mother to go to America, find Breeland and bring Merrit back. Hester must go with him because it would be ruinous to Merritt's reputation to travel unchaperoned with Monk. It would ruin her reputation (as if running away with a murderer has not already ruined it). Once in America, Hester gets to show her stuff as she volunteers with the battlefield surgeons to nurse the injured Union soldiers.
She and Monk find Breeland and Merritt, bring them back to England, and engage Oliver Rathbone to defend them from Murder. Oliver takes the case against his better judgment (as usual).
While I love these books, it's a bit difficult reading the plot points that must be repeated book after book for the benefit of new readers. I love Hester's character, but if I hear one more word about Crimea, Florence Nightingale or battlefield nursing, I think I'll fall asleep.

I'm still reading the series, however. Back next time with a good one: Funeral in Blue.

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