Monday, February 26, 2018

Review: Relief Valve by JL Merrow

Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate Mysteries #2) by JL Merrow
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 341pgs

3 Pants Off

Blurb: If you dig up the past, be prepared for some dirt to stick.

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 fiancé, 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.

Publisher's note: This is lightly edited reprint of a previously published novel.


Relieved It Finally Ended 

I’m trying to figure out what went wrong with this sequel. I freaking loved the first book Pressure Head, it had so much charm and wit and I really liked it. Relief Valve lacked all the fun, and Tom’s voice lacked all the things I loved from him in the first book. I mostly found him flaky, and a little annoying.  

Tom and Phil are still together after the crazy that was the first book. They’ve settled into their life, Tom the Plumber and Phil the P.I. It’s still not clear how together they are, and their relationship is still sought of up in the air, but their British and ain’t no one discussing feelings. When Tom's Aunt dies and leaves him some crazy unusual instructions to find her will, he has to reconnect with his sister. That goes all types of awkward, and it’s clear that they’re not very close.  

Seems his sister is getting married and Tom is all types of surprised. When the engagement party rolls around, things doesn’t go as expected and soon Toms standing over the convulsing body of his sister and it looks like not every one is feeling the love. Someone has just tried to kill his sister and it’s Tom and Phil on the case.  

First of all, I was looking forward to mystery aspect of it all and the use of Tom’s gift. What gift you wonder, he’s able to find things, just about anything really. His ass didn’t use the gift at all, just spent his time being a sarcastic bastard bordering on the line of downright asshole. The storytelling to who was trying to poison his sister lacked finesse and not even cast of Midsomer Murders towns people (seriously I love that show) could make it any better. It did have some British wit, and I did laugh a little but mostly I was bored. Could the real Tom please stand up! 

Secondly, the book was too long. It was dragged out with some over the top reveal that didn’t even fall well with the story-line and the reveal of the villain was a letdown. No one quirky character could save this for me, I just can’t understand what went wrong…I’m not here for Relief Valve and was relieved when it finally ending. Still like Tom and Phil doing each other though 🤷🏽 

Overall, not a fan of this second offering. I will be checking out the third part because I do like J.L Merrow as an author and I’m not giving up on Tom and Phil. I legit like these dudes, and everyone is allowed to have an off day. 

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