Tag Archives: series: the plumber’s mate

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

Relief Valve

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

Series: The Plumber’s Mate, Book 2
Published by: Samhain Publishing on March 25, 2014
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

It wouldn’t be accurate to say that things have been smooth sailing for Tom Paretski and Phil Morrison since they reconnected and became romantically involved. They both agreed to put the past behind them, recognizing they’ve both changed. But there’s still something tentative about the relationship. And that’s even without family opinions being considered.

Tom’s older sister, Cherry, gets back in touch with him to let him know two things. One, their former neighbor, a woman he knew affectionately as “Auntie Lol” has died and he’s named in the will. Two, she’s met a man that she would like him to meet. Of course neither of these are as simple as they seem.

First, Auntie Lol’s will is incomplete. The second piece of it is hidden in her old home, and she asked that Tom use his “gift” for finding hidden things to fetch it. And this is something her ex-husband and current resident of the home isn’t very keen on.

Second, Cherry’s new man, Gregory, has asked her to marry him. It seems a bit sudden considering they haven’t been together long. And it gets even more complicated when Cherry is poisoned at her own engagement party.

Suspects quickly emerge, from Gregory himself to members of a writing circle of which Cherry had previously been a member. With Tom’s gift and his boyfriends private investigation skills, they are hot on the trail. But can they find who wants Cherry dead before they strike again?

I absolutely love how fun and cheeky this books are without losing any of their seriousness or legitimacy. I enjoy a good whodunnit, and the added humor that the author provides here is honestly icing on the cake for me. The twists and the reveals are always dramatic (while not being over-the-top) and Tom is just one of those characters you have to love.

Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow


Title: Pressure Head (The Plumber’s Mate, Book 1)
Author: J.L. Merrow
Published: September 18, 2012
Pages: 279
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Tom Paretski isn’t just an ordinary plumber.  He has a special talent–one for finding things that people are trying to hid–that gives him unique insights into people and places.  He’s sometimes called on by the local police to help with their investigations, so it’s not entirely out of the ordinary when it’s asked to help with a case of a missing woman.  But what makes this case unique is the involvement of private investigator Phil Morrison, Tom’s childhood crush and a man partly responsible for an injury that left Tom with a messed up hip that still bothers him to this day.  But has Phil changed or is he still the same macho bully Tom remembers?  Can the two of them really work together on the case?  And what is it that Phil really wants from Tom?

As interesting as the description might be, I found this to be an enjoyable light mystery.  Obviously there is heavy content here between the disappearing people, murder, possible suicides, and much unresolved childhood angst, but I really enjoyed Tom as a character and the story is an easy and engaging read.  I definitely look forward to continuing with this series and seeing what’s in store for this interesting pair…