Adrian Monk is an unlikely candidate for one of the top detectives in TV history. Sure, he’s got the background shared by many fictional P.I.s—someone close to him (his wife) was the victim of an unsolved murder—and he used to be a cop. But his most memorable characteristics are his neuroses. The obsessive-compulsive Monk manages to do his sleuthing nonetheless, and to be funny while he’s at it. Monk is the rare detective who is on the case of not just the two kinds of mysteries common for televised sleuths—the crime of the week and his larger, central investigation—but also a third mystery: that of his own mind.
Case File: In season two’s “Mr. Monk Goes Back to School,” after disproving the police’s theory on the case, Monk has to become a substitute teacher to solve the mystery of another high-school teacher’s death—even though everyone knows schools are full of germs.LIST: Top 10 Murder-Mystery Series
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