Review: Blow Down (Plumber's Mate #4) by JL Merrow

Death is what happens while you’re making other plans.

The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries, Book 4

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.

"I felt like a right pleb parking the van on a posh, red-brick driveway only slightly less extensive than the M25 and going up to knock on a door built to withstand siege, battering ram, and revolting peasants."
I absolutely love JL Merrow's, Plumber's Mate, series. Like truly, truly love it. Tom and Phil are two of my favourite book couples, more than that though, as individuals, they are some of my favourite characters. (Especially TOM!!). Despite Tom's, er, gift, these are normal blokes who I understand and would quite like a pint down the pub with. It would make a short review though if I left it at that, even though it really is what attracts me so much; likeable, relatable characters.

There's kind of a Midsummer Murder feel to these books - this one in particular. Something very English and cosy. Tea, scones and gossip at the village fete, (More tea, Vicar?) with just a little case of murder and mystery thrown in to ensure life doesn't get too boring. And it's quite a refined murder and investigation, Miss Marple-esque in a way.

I've been to many a village fete in my day (though it's fair to say none have involved a murder) and I remember them fondly in a haze of sunshine and chatter and cake competitions and dog shows and lucky dips. Tug of war between the darts team and the footy players. Bouncy castles and face paints. Laughter and rain showers and searing heat. Any rural Brit who had a childhood in the eighties couldn't fail to feel nostalgic when reading this book.

The whodunnits are fun in these books, but it is the relationship between Tom and Phil that really keeps me reading this series. I've highlighted a fairly long passage, and the note I've put with it is simply; everyday romance. And that sums it up really. These books - this relationship - is not about wild hot monkey sex and swinging from the chandeliers. It doesn't need to be. They don't contain loooooooong drawn out passages describing every orgasm in detail. They do contain a relationship that feels real. That is real. (Well it's fictional, but it's real fictional if you know what I mean...) The kiss dropped onto the forehead after an awkwardly meaningful discussion (done in that minimal way Brits do so well) is a hundred times more effective than reading about every drop of come being squeezed from the body. In my humble opinion anyhow!

If you're fans of this series, fans of this author I can't imagine you anything but loving this story and as one of my favourite series I recommend it to everyone to read. Another winner from this author!

For more information see Goodreads.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Did you check out the Plumber's Mate release blitz here?

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