Review: Pressure Head by JL Merrow (Plumber's Mate #1)


Books, movies, and television shows with a British slant hold a special appeal for me. There’s something about British humor that tickles my fancy, especially when it comes to romantic comedies and murder mysteries. Add those two genres together and a healthy dose of British sense and sensibility and you’ve got yourself the Plumber’s Mate Mystery series from author JL Merrow. I read the four currently available books one after the other and I simply found myself enjoying the series more and more with each passing story. It involves the same main characters, Thomas Paretski, twenty-nine and plumber extraordinaire with a psychic gift, and Philip Morrison, thirty and former police sergeant turned private investigator. They’re surrounded by a quirky cast of recurring characters as well as they solve mysteries ‘round town.

Tom Paretski is known around Fleetville and other nearby areas as a reliable plumber, but the police, especially his close friend Detective Inspector Dave Southgate, call on him for his ability to “find” things—things that have been hidden on purpose—and this time around, he stumbles upon a dead body. There’s someone who happens to also be interested in the case and he’s a familiar name and face—Phil Morrison. Tom and Phil have a history, and it isn’t the good kind. Bouts of bullying and one accident when they were both seventeen that still has Tom’s hip acting up makes this an uncomfortable reunion. But they soon become an unlikely team that seems to work well...until they remember why they were never friends. Beneath the mistrust and animosity, however, could there be something more simmering between them?

More mystery than romance, this series starter wasn’t your typical whodunit. Tom and Phil get under each other’s skin and get on one another’s nerves but they do form a formidable sleuthing team of sorts. There’s also this underlying tension, which isn’t all due to their dark past as teenagers, that made me anticipate what the heck was going to happen next and who would be the one to initiate or steal a kiss. I had a feeling why Phil treated Tom the way he did when they were schoolmates, though that doesn’t excuse his bad behavior. Now, as far as the mystery is concerned, I was kept on my toes and while I did figure out who the perpetrator was, it took me a good long while to whittle my list of suspects down. Pressure Head was a good start to a fab series that I hope will have a great, long run and gets four stars. ♥

Date Read: 24 July 2016

Learn more about JL Merrow.

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