Title: Blow Down (The Plumber’s Mate #4)
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Murder/Mystery
Page Count: 249
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
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, 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.
Warning: Contains a bishop of questionable Christian charity, a necklace of questionable taste, and a plumber of questionable nationality who may be running out of time.
In this fourth book in the Plumber’s Mate series, life goes on for the whole gang. Newly engaged Tom and Phil ponder the big issues – where will they live, will they hyphenate their surnames, should Tom invite his newly-found sire to the wedding, how can they convince Gary and Darren they are most definitely not interested in a foursome – while Cherry and the very (loud) Reverend Greg continue to plan their upcoming nuptials, Dave and Jen are awaiting the birth of their little sprog and Gary indulges Darren’s love of Morris dancing with the St. Leonard’s Stompers … all four foot nine of him, done up in whites and bells and those funny-coloured tassel things they wear, and with a straw hat on top. […] “Doesn’t he just look so virile?” Gary gushed.
The murder plot involves the thoroughly despised Amelia Fenchurch-Majors and a missing necklace and as usual the suspects are numerous with plenty of red herrings that will keep you guessing until the very end. However, I felt the murder /mystery element was a bit too ragged with too many tangents that never got adequately developed. It didn’t hold my interest as intensely as the mystery in Relief Valve (Book 2 in the series) and the plot felt a bit more bogged down than in previous books.
While Phil continues to be a bit of an unknown, Phil and Tom’s relationship continues to deepen and grow stronger and I love how they have overcome their rocky start and are settling into an easy domesticity. We get a few more hints into Phil’s past, including more details about the mysterious Mark, and while the ending is …… nice, I firmly believe there are a few more book(s) in the Plumber’s Mate series coming down the pike. After all, we are awaiting the rebuilding of the Devil’s Dyke and need to know if Cherry’s wedding go off without a hitch, will Greg become the top God-Botherer, will Darren and Gary finally give up on that foursome, and what sort of mangled / strangled / stabbed / beheaded corpse will Tom next discover?