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

PressureHead_400x600.jpgRunner-UpSMSome things are better left hidden.

Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights.

Amazon | Riptide | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Also available in audiobook:


Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Runner-up in the 2013 Rainbow Awards category Best Gay Mystery/Thriller.

Reviews for the first edition:

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 MysteriesRelief 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!)

Pressure Head is also available in French translation: 

Aux yeux du reste du monde, Tom Paretski n’est qu’un simple plombier impertinent qui traîne une hanche boiteuse, souvenir d’un accident scolaire. Mais ce n’est pas pour ses talents de plombier que la police locale garde son numéro téléphone mais pour son don pour retrouver des objets perdus.

Alors qu’on lui demande son aide pour localiser le corps d’une femme disparue dans le Nomansland Common, Tom fait une rencontre boulversante : Phil Morrison. Son béguin de jeunesse est devenu détective privé et bosse sur la même enquête.

Mais Phil est aussi responsable de sa blessure (du moins, en partie). Bon gré, mal gré, les deux hommes vont devoir apprendre à travailler ensemble.

Faites connaissance d’un plombier séducteur doté de pouvoirs cachés, d’un détective privé vêtu de cachemire et qui cache (un peu trop bien) un bon fond et passez un moment dans un village anglais rempli de secret !

Available in paperback and on Kindle: Amazon