Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Length: 249 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Contemporary, Mystery
At a Glance: Blow Down is another great story added to this outstanding series.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: 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, his heroism at a pub fire made him a local celebrity. Now everyone and their uncle wants a piece of his psychic talents.
Hired to find a missing necklace, Tom and his fiancé, private investigator Phil Morrison, wind up trying to unmask a killer—and there’s no shortage of suspects, up to and including the local bishop himself.
As Tom and Phil try to uncover the truth, they find themselves 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 hesitate to kill again. If Tom and Phil aren’t careful, their love—and all their plans for the future—could be blown down like a house of straw.
Review: I should begin by saying that if you have not read this series from the beginning–with its first installment, Pressure Head–then my review of the latest in the Plumber’s Mate series, Blow Down, won’t make a whole lot of sense to you. I would also beg the question, what are you waiting for, primarily because the series is that lovely mix of mystery and comedy and romance all rolled into one, which no one should miss. So, with that forewarning, I bring you the ongoing saga of our plumber/psychic, Tom Paretski, and his nearly inscrutable yet very loyal fiancé and private detective, Phil Morrison.
The story picks up where the last left off, with Tom now a local celebrity, having saved his friends from a deadly fire. His sister, Cherry, isn’t helping matters by introducing him to a wealthy client who somehow ends up dead. Add to that the pressures Tom’s family has brought to bear on Tom and Phil setting a date for their upcoming nuptials, and you have a bit of a powder keg ready to explode. Tom is being pulled in six different directions at once, and there is more at stake this time, for someone wants him quiet–and not just in a “shut your trap” kind of way. No, this time somebody wants Tom silenced for good.
There are three reasons why I absolutely love and highly recommend this series by author JL Merrow. The first is the continuing development of Tom and Phil, their relationship with each other and with their friends and family. Each installment in the series unearths a little bit more about Phil’s previous relationship with Mark, his ex, and the things that happened between them that has left Phil so cautious about exposing his feelings for Tom. Watching their relationship grow and change only makes it that much more realistic. Not only that but with each new book, we see Tom’s innermost feelings–which often include more than his share of doubt that he could ever be enough for Phil. Watching these two men fumble their way toward a deeper love for each other is perhaps the most tender of romance stories I’ve ever read.
The second element that brings this series to the forefront and makes it one that stands out is all the side characters that interact with Tom on a regular basis. From Cherry, who is often more harmful than helpful when it comes to Tom’s wanting to remain unknown as a psychic, to Darren and Gary, the slightly lecherous gay best friends, this author has created a bevy of interesting and funny characters who move in and out of Tom’s life with the greatest of ease. This is not just a love story about two guys, but a celebration of a community who surrounds Tom and Phil and who, despite their bungling, really want the best for these two fellows.
Finally, the third element that makes the series very special is Tom’s voice. It is uniquely British and uniquely Tom. As he narrates the story for you, he exposes bits and pieces of himself in his side comments and reflections, often hilarious, sometimes poignant, yet all Tom. I have come to love the voice of this man. Each new novel is like visiting with an old friend, sharing a cuppa and hearing about their lives. The added elements of deadly mysteries and silly side shenanigans only enrich each moment spent in the company of such rich and diverse characters.
Blow Down is another great story added to this outstanding series. I highly recommend it to you—murder, mayhem, love, and hilarity, all in one fantastic novel. Who could ask for more?
You can buy Blow Down here: