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.