Monk and Natalie are settling back in San Francisco, with one big change. Monk has agreed to make Natalie a full partner. That means Natalie has to pass the California P.I. exam and Monk has to start treating her as an equal.
The trouble starts when Miranda Bigley, a self-help guru, jumps to her death in full view of a hundred people. It’s obviously suicide. But Natalie was a fan of Miranda’s life-affirming teachings, and she thinks there must be something more. Maybe even murder.
Monk has handled dozen of impossible cases. But this one is really impossible, he says. If Natalie wants to look into it, she’s on her own.
Instead, Monk turns his attention to a clown, killed by poisoned money. It’s a case that could become one of the most important of his career. The only drawback? Monk is afraid of clowns (phobia #99), and Natalie refuses to help him if he doesn’t help her.
And so, they’re off on their own, with Natalie infiltrating the guru’s cliffside retreat, Monk trying to stay as far away from clowns as possible, and both of them trying to stay alive.
If there’s one case that can teach them the importance of an equal partnership, this is it.