Friday, February 16, 2018

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): The relationship between Tom Paretski, a cheeky plumber with a gift for finding hidden things, and PI Phil Morrison may only be a few weeks old, but already it’s under attack. Tom’s friends and family are convinced the former bully isn’t good enough for him, and they’re not shy about saying so.

Then Tom’s prickly older sister, Cherry, is poisoned at her own engagement party. Tom’s left reeling and not knowing who to suspect. Could it be her new fiancĂ©, Gregory, a cathedral canon with an unfortunate manner and a taste for taxidermy? Or someone from her old writers’ circle, which she left after a row? Or could the attack be connected to her work as a barrister? Meanwhile, Tom’s honorary auntie’s left him a gag gift from beyond the grave that could be more significant than anyone knows.

Phil’s fighting against the clock to solve the case before somebody ends up dead. And with the poisoner hiding a dark secret, Phil’s terrified Tom could have been the target all along.

Review: The first book in the Plumber's Mate Mysteries is Pressure Head (read my review here) and I really loved it, so I was excited to get the sequel to read/review. These books are better read in order as they feature the exact same characters, following plumber Tom and his PI boyfriend, Phil. Each book has a different mystery, so they connect through the relationship, which is still going strong in Relief Valve, though Tom does sometimes feel awkward knowing that Phil was previously married.
In Relief Valve, readers get to know more about Tom's family, especially his older sister, Cherry, who is suddenly getting married. Well, until she's poisoned at her engagement party, and now Phil and Tom are on the hunt for just who could possibly want to hurt Cherry (if it was Cherry they were after).

I really liked this mystery and I didn't figure out "who done it" until the end. I won't say it's impossible to figure out, but these are the types of mysteries where I'm happy to go along for the ride. I don't try too hard to unravel the mystery because I'm having a good time following Tom and Phil on their adventures, and also watching the two of them grow closer together!


Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight said...

Glad you're still enjoying the series! My faves are the ones with the same characters. And I'm like you, I generally like to go along for the ride with mysteries and don't try too hard to figure them out.

Lola R said...

I like series like that with a continuing relationship or plot lines and each book has it;s own mystery. And I like it when I can't guess who did it, but it's also fun when you can figure it out. I like it when it is at least possible to figure it out or when it does make sense looking back. It's nice how the romance continues and they grow closer in this book.

Karen Blue said...

I like a good mystery where I am surprised by the who-done-it. Glad to see you enjoyed this installment in the series!

Verushka Byrow said...

I love it when you just let your brain go with the flow with a mystery, it means it’s one bit of a whole that works so well!

Lisa Mandina said...

Okay, plumber mysteries? That cracks me up. :-) Glad you're enjoying it!