Pressure Head – #1 in the Plumber’s Mate series


Some secrets are better left hidden.

To most of the
world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

Product Warnings

Contains a flirtatious plumber with hidden talents, a cashmere-clad private investigator with hidden depths, and an English village chock full of colourful characters with plenty to hide.

Currently unavailable, but Riptide Publishing will be republishing my Plumber’s Mate Mysteries  in fresh new covers, which I’ll reveal to you when I can. Dates as follows:

  • Pressure Head: 1 January, 2018
  • Relief Valve: 5 February, 2018
  • Heat Trap: 5 March, 2018
  • Blow Down: 2 April, 2018

And there will be a brand new Plumber’s Mate Mystery, Lock Nut, releasing on 14 May, 2018

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copyRunner-up in the 2013 Rainbow Awards category Best Gay Mystery/Thriller.

The writing is fresh and lively, with a good dose of the sort of humour I love. The characters, especially Tom, are very likable and realistic. The setting is solid and easy to picture…Overall, I highly recommend this book to those who like mysteries, or who are just looking for a fantastic story with great characterisation – 4.75 stars, Jenre at Reviews by Jessewave

Merrow has a knack for slyly mixing genres that really works for me…I loved this offering from one of my favorite authors and as always look forward to whatever she publishes. This one is definitely recommended – Cole, The Armchair Reader

The characters were cheeky yet believable and well written. The murder mystery combined with the ever evolving relationship between Tom and Phil kept me engrossed… a joy to read! 4.5 stars & A True Gem by DiDi at Guilty Pleasures Reviews

You just can’t expect anything formulaic in [JL Merrow’s] books…but do expect very unique characters that jump right off the pages – B-, Samantha at Fiction Vixen

There is a strong ensemble of secondary characters who are well developed as an entertaining supporting cast, and they add a great deal to the story and the enjoyment of reading the book…I thoroughly enjoyed PRESSURE HEAD and look forward to reading more by this talented author– 5 sweet peas, Mrs Condit 

The author does a wonderful job wrapping up Pressure Head, leaving the reader with a story that they will be sure to read time and again. I hope the author has plans to bring these two back for many more mysteries – 5 kisses, Lydia at Top 2 Bottom Reviews

This book is an interesting and intriguing story from page one until the very end…J.L. Merrow has written a mystery that I love for the twists and turns that keep you guessing right up to the very last page – 4.5 kisses, Pat Nelson at Top 2 Bottom Reviews

I would be thrilled to see Merrow turn this into a series with Tom and Phil solving mysteries. I just loved them together! Merrow gives us a great combination of mystery and romance – 4.5 stars, Joyfully Jay

If you like your mystery combined with your romance with a bit of humour, an excellent choice– Tam at Tam Reads, Writes & Rambles


Tom and Phil return in book #2 of The Plumber’s Mate seriesRelief Valve

And you can read a connected drabble (100 word ficlet) featuring a conversation between Tom and his mate Gary, over at Wilde Oats Magazine. It’s called Firm, Juicy and Delicious, or How Gary Met his Man (and no, I didn’t count those words into the 100!)