Elliot D'Souza, Chief Financial Officer for a high-powered publishing company, is working out in his private gym alone when suddenly the weight of his barbell overwhelms him and it comes crashing down violently on his throat. He's killed instantly, choked to death by his own workout equipment. Is it just an unusual accident, or something more sinister? Elliot's secretary, Miss Luden, is certain that Dexter Larsen (Gary Cole), the infamous publisher of the gentlemen's magazine Sapphire, somehow orchestrated her boss' death. As it turns out, Elliot was planning to close the doors of the infamous swinging party palace, the Sapphire Mansion. Not satisfied by the results of the police investigation, Miss Luden asks Monk and Sharona to take the case.