After the murder of his wife Trudy, Adrian Monk has a nervous breakdown. Unable to leave his house, Monk loses his job as a detective for the San Francisco Police Department. After 3.5 years, his nurse Sharona Fleming manages to get him active again. Although he may be able to leave the comforts of his home, the shock from losing Trudy has left him suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder amongst other phobias which he is unable to break from. Monk becomes a private detective. His several anxieties and obsessions make situations awkward and difficult for everyone around him. Despite his over 300 phobias and flaws, he has an uncanny ability to piece together puzzles, allowing him to solve crimes. In his spare time, he tries desperately to solve the most important puzzle of all; finding out who killed Trudy, the love of his life.