Title: Blow Down
Series: Plumber’s Mate: Book Four
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 305 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: I cannot get enough of this series. I loved reconnecting with Tom and Phil in this latest whodunnit and can’t wait for the next installment!
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Death is what happens while you’re making other plans . . .
The last thing newly engaged plumber Tom Paretski needs is to stumble over another dead body. He’s got enough on his mind already as the reality of his impending marriage sinks in. Not only is his family situation complicated, but his heroism at a pub fire has made him a local celebrity, and now everyone knows about his psychic talents—and wants a piece of them.
Hired to recover a missing necklace, Tom and his fiancé, private investigator Phil Morrison, find themselves trying to unmask a killer. And there’s no shortage of suspects, including the local bishop.
As Tom and Phil try to uncover the truth, they’re pulled in all directions by the conflicting pressures of their families and their own desires. But the murderer they’re up against is a ruthless schemer who won’t baulk at killing again. If Tom and Phil don’t watch out, their love—and all their plans for the future—could be blown down like a house of straw.
Review: I snatched up the opportunity to catch up with Tom and Phil and the merry band of eccentric characters that make this series one of my favorites. I got more Phil, more Darren, more Gary, more Cherry and best of all more Tom, because he truly is one of my favorite characters in the history of…ever. I really could gush all day about this series and, more than likely, I have gushed a time or two. Blow Down kept up with the standard set so far and did not disappoint at all.
Picking up on the tail-end of book three, Heat Trap, Tom is now a bit of a local celebrity and finds himself doing his sister a bit of a favor, using his special talents for a…well, not friend but someone Cherry wants to remain on the good side of. Unfortunately for Tom, it brings him smack dab in the middle of another murder mystery, one that has him square in someone’s crosshairs. All the while they are planning his and Phil’s nuptials and figuring out all the crazy little things that come along with getting married—like the whole last name debacle.
There are two things that truly stood out to me in Blow Down and that made this installment so enjoyable—One: There is more focus on Tom’s abilities, seeing as is it almost the center of the entire situation, mostly due to his newly minted, sort-of celebrity status. It was interesting to read how some people feared it for all the wrong reasons, while others were intrigued by it. There were also questions and some additional hints thrown out there. I’m looking forward to reading what it is in store next, and where the gift will lead, because it seems there may be more than he knows he is capable of.
Second: Tom and Phil’s relationship for me has been amazing to read over the course of the series. Their progression has been slow but believable. They don’t magically change and become different people but in each book, there is growth to them and their bond. Yes, they still argue and their insecurities are there, but their overall communication has matured. Additionally, each new book uncovers more about Phil and the reasons why he is the way he is and why he behaves the way he behaves. At first, I wasn’t sure if I even liked him, but now I am totally team Phil and Blow Down offers a little more insight to his relationship with his ex, Mark, and how that contributed to his current behavior.
There was quite a variety of secondary characters that surround this new murder which JL Merrow just seems to have a knack for writing. I love the quirkiness and uniqueness to every character Tom interacts with. One of my favorite things in a murder mystery is to try to guess whodunnit and why before the baddie is revealed. In this case, though I eventually put together who the murderer was, it took me much longer to discard the other possibilities and even still, there were some twists that made me question whether I had figured it out or not.
I, for one, cannot get enough of this series. I loved catching up with Tom, Phil, and all the amazing characters brought to life through JL Merrow’s talented writing, and I cannot wait for the next book’s release! I can’t recommend the Plumbers Mate Mysteries enough. Trust me, though, don’t jump in here. None of the books should be read as a stand-alone. To get the full understanding of Tom and his talents, as well as all his interpersonal relationships I suggest a reader start at the beginning with Pressure Head.
You can buy Blow Down here:
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