Monk and Natalie have finally settled into a new office routine -- but the detectives soon have another problem to deal with: Captain Stottlemeyer's new lieutenant, A. J. Thurman -- a man of limited skills whom Monk finds insufferable.
Despite Thurman's presence, Monk and Natalie attend the funeral of Judge Oberlin, and it's a good thing. In typical fashion, Monk examines the body in the casket -- and finds evidence of poison. The judge was murdered.
When Captain Stottlemeyer shows the same symptoms the judge had shown, Monk detects the work of a diabolical killer who wants both men dead. With his friend in danger and an enemy close, Monk will have to put his reservations aside to crack the case in time.