Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Blow Down
SERIES: The Plumber’s Mate #4
AUTHOR: J.L. Merrow
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
LENGTH: 249 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 12, 2016
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.
There are never any easy answers for Tom Paretski, the not-Polish-but-actually-kinda-Polish plumber and finder of all things hidden. Well, unless the question is “where is all this water coming from?” Even after finding his father (of the biological persuasion), Tom hasn’t got many more answers to the question of who he is and why he does that thing he does (i.e. the I Find Dead People conundrum). Tom also hasn’t a clue what to do with this whole new (well not new) fiance and their impending marital bliss. Sure he’s over the moon that Phil Morrison popped the question, but how exactly are they supposed to move from A to C without tripping all over B in the process? Especially when B stands for body, and not a living one at that. Now while Tom tries to figure out who he is, and why he ended up a plumber with a knack for finding the things no one wants found (dead bodies most definitely included), he is gonna have to come up with an answer to who just offed his newest find…because the answer to that question might just be going after him next.
Another mystery, another dead body, and another chance to sink right into the lovely world of J.L. Merrow’s crime solving plumber/private-dick duo. Well you can count me right in!
What can I say about this book other than I loved it? Four books into this series and there has yet to be a one that has let me down or disappointed my armature sleuthing needs. Seriously, this series is one of my favorites of Merrow’s and of the whole English countryside-murder genre in whole. Tom Paretski, charming and snarky to a tea (and boy do I mean tea), brings this story to life in such a delightful manner. I adore how easily I slip into his head in these books. Even after finishing them I’ll catch myself slipping a few of his more colorful phrases into my speech, without even realizing it till I am getting funny looks from the fam. While some people who haven’t made a habit of devouring everything English they can get their paws on might have a harder time understanding some of the more inventive of Tom’s slang, I find it is one of the things that really brings these books to life. Just accept that you might not understand everything and just enjoy the ride, is what I say. And if all else fails, google it.
As to the mystery, once again–top notch. Merrow knows how to spin a tail so that by the time you get to the end you’ve guessed and revised “whodunnit” so many times that you don’t know who you are, but sure know you’ve had a hell of a time. Don’t wanna give a lot away in this review since 90% of mystery novels are the unraveling of the clues, but I will say that taking this little trip with Tom and Phil was as fun the fourth time as it was in book one. While I am a little worried about the ever increasing death toll in his small part of the country, I will not ever complain about it if it means I will have yet another mystery to solve right along side of them.
On the whole this was thoroughly enjoyable, and yet another great chapter in the ongoing Plumber’s Mate series. I can only hope that in the next one we will get a bit more about Tom’s newly-reappeared father, and perhaps a few more answers as to why Tom is just so good at finding out the answers to all the questions most people wish he’d left unasked.
(Also…they are getting married!!! I totally need to see that wedding. Here’s hoping that there are no bodies to trip over while walking down that aisle. *fingers crossed*)