Friday, August 05, 2016

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


Title: Blow Down

Author: JL Merrow

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Release: 12th July 2016

Genre: M/M (Murder / Mystery)


grey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star

goodreads add to


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 fiancĂ©, 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.


Mark’s Review

OK, before I start my review I have to get something off my chest first and that is…………. 

I don’t want this series to end. NEVER EVER!

Do you hear me Ms Merrow? – lol! I’m addicted and the cause of this addiction is first the wonderful narrative writing and very English style of the author and secondly Tom & Phil. Two characters that have become my all time favourites and the mysteries they solve are riveting. Throw in a good dose of quintessential English humour, understatement, a murder or two, a touch of paranormal, a cup of PG Tips and for me we have a wonderful combination which makes for a read that is impossible to put down.

Through the series I have followed Phil and Tom from their shaky beginnings, going from animosity to a fully flourished and mature relationship. Of course the next step is inevitable and that is now the question has been asked the plans for a wedding start. I also love how in this series the domestic is combined with sleuthing and detective work followed by situations where Tom always can’t seem to stumble across freshly murdered corpses. It seems to be their dogma that things never go as smoothly as planned and in this story we have a vicious family that makes Tom’s and Phil’s relationship look like domestic bliss which is in actual fact the truth now anyway. However, they are faced with solving a murder which will put all their strengths to the test once again as Tom finds himself almost bumped off with a narrow escape.

It’s the dynamics behind the characters that enthrall me all the time. Perfectly balanced and complementary although all individual in their own rights with the supporting characters all having their own quirks. Ms Merrow manages to lift these characters right off the page and give them a life of their own. Characters that are not larger than life but embody life itself. The very subtle Britishness of the humour had me laughing out loud at times and no doubt combined with a snort or two. But it’s all done within the more serious context of the serious business of solving a murder. I loved the fact that this series of books are all plot driven rather than having to read through pages of erotica to get to the main story. Don’t get me wrong I love a good hot sex scene as much as the next man or woman but it has to have it’s place and add to the story. Here the sex is mostly off page which is fine by me, as a gay man I know how all that works anyway - lol! and it’s always refreshing to read a story that involves gay characters who are not subjected to the bedroom and between the sheets escapades. Characters leading a normal relationship but involved in the not so normal business of solving murders. The main focus here is about the love these two share with each other, being there for each other, supporting each other, consoling each other and keeping each other in check. After all, isn’t that what a relationship is all about?

The murder / mystery plot is well developed and at least kept me guessing until the end. But then I have never been a “whodunnit” expert anyway - lol! All the loose ends tied up very nicely by the end of the book. If you haven’t started this series yet then I sincerely hope you do, especially for those readers that like more plot driven stories. The romance is there but not the main focus, it just coexists nicely with everything else happening in Tom’s and Phil’s life. So, as I said at the beginning of my review I seriously don’t want this series to stop. I want to know how things develop further with Tom and Phil, I want to read how they solve more murders and the predicaments they get themselves into, I basically never want to stop reading this series. Let’s hope there are many more books to come.


Meet JL Merrow

Waterhouse_a_mermaid hires
JL Merrow is a very English writer of (mainly) m/m fiction who finds writing the only way to stay sane, except of course when a plot is driving her crazy. Having grown up on an island, she can’t remember a time before she could swim and prefers to remain close to water at all times. Luckily, the weather in her native land being as it generally is, this is not difficult.

I’m that rare beast; an English person who refuses to drink tea. I’m a writer of (mainly) m/m or f/f romance, mostly contemporary or paranormal, but with a fickle muse that occasionally ambushes me in dark alleyways and drags me off, cackling, to write historical or science fiction.

Some might call all this pillar-to-posting tragic evidence of a short attention span; I couldn’t possibly….er, what were we talking about, again?

I enjoy reading, martial arts, and surprising people who judge a book by its cover.

She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.




Purchase Links




Series Reading Order

Copy of plumbersmates

Book #1: Pressure Head

Book #2: Relief Valve

Book #3: Heat Trap


  1. My favourite couple at the mo!
    Like you, love the series and dont want to see the end of Tom and Phil

  2. I'm with you. I don't ever want it to end either. I absolutely love these two (and there crazy families and friends). :-)