If you dig up the past, be prepared for some dirt to stick.
The relationship between Tom Paretski, a cheeky plumber with a gift for finding hidden things, and PI Phil Morrison may only be a few weeks old, but already it’s under attack. Tom’s friends and family are convinced the former bully isn’t good enough for him, and they’re not shy about saying so.
Then Tom’s prickly older sister, Cherry, is poisoned at her own engagement party. Tom’s left reeling and not knowing who to suspect. Could it be her new fiancé, Gregory, a cathedral canon with an unfortunate manner and a taste for taxidermy? Or someone from her old writers’ circle, which she left after a row? Or could the attack be connected to her work as a barrister? Meanwhile, Tom’s honorary auntie’s left him a gag gift from beyond the grave that could be more significant than anyone knows.
Phil’s fighting against the clock to solve the case before somebody ends up dead. And with the poisoner hiding a dark secret, Phil’s terrified Tom could have been the target all along.
Honorable Mention and Finalist in the 2014 Rainbow Awards category Best Gay Mystery/Thriller.
Reviews for the first edition:
I liked the first book Pressure Head but I absolutely adored this awesome sequel Relief Valve… Besides the humor and just plain lightness and fun of this story, I finally got what I felt was missing from the first book, more of Tom and Phil’s relationship. Phil is still a bit tight-lipped but now I’m sure he’s the right one for Tom…I can absolutely recommend Relief Valve to everyone who’s read Pressure Head and to those who haven’t yet, you really need to – 5 stars, Mandy, Hearts on Fire Reviews
This book has just rocked my socks! WOW – LOVED IT!!!! Tom Paretski has just become one of my all time favourite characters. Once again he gets involved in solving an attempted murder on his sister and lands himself in situations that had me on the edge of my seat, but also had me laughing out loud just reading about the characters and their antics…Phil and Tom start to become more involved with each other and you really feel the process of them falling in love – 5 stars, Mark, Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
JL Merrow has written this relationship so realistically, with all the qualifying questions and uncertainties of its newness, that Tom and Phil’s feelings are often a mystery to the other…grab yourself a biccie and a cuppa, come for the mystery, stay for the humor, and enjoy this installment of the series for the murderous plot that only an author with a penchant for premeditated shenanigans could craft – 5 stars, Lisa Horan, The Novel Approach
JL has written a fascinating, quirky story filled with a vivid, eccentric, off-the-wall cast of characters that literally jump off the page. This character driven tale has a really smooth plot flow, and a backstory that fills in any gaps in the storyline. The author’s writing style is original, crisp, and concise, and… the down-to-earth humor actually had me laughing hysterically every other page – 4.5 sweet peas, Trish, Mrs Condit & Friends
So many questions to answer and a long, winding, crazy path of a story to get you there! Merrow’s sense of humor kept me reading, and fingering the murderer was tough, both good qualities in any murder mystery if you ask me! I recommend you grab this series – 4 stars, Portia de Moncur, MM Good Book Reviews
Merrow writes elegantly in what feels quintessential British prose. It’s refreshing and enjoyable entertainment that is always easy to recommend…Humor and attempted murder …what more could a reader want? – Cactus, Long and Short Reviews
Relief Valve is also available in French translation:
La partie n’a pas toujours été facile depuis que Tom Paretski, plombier, et Phil Morrison, détective privé, ont lié leurs cœurs. Leurs familles respectives ne se gênent pas pour énoncer leur désapprobation, ce qui n’a pas aidé Tom dans sa relation avec son irritable sœur aînée, Cherry.
Mais lorsque celle-ci se fait empoisonner pendant sa fête de fiançailles, l’horreur d’avoir failli la perdre envoie Tom sur la piste des coupables potentiels. S’agit-il de son fiancé Gregory, un chanoine de cathédral avec des manières déplorables et un goût alarmant pour la taxidermie ? Quelqu’un de son ancien groupe d’écriture, qu’elle a quitté après une dispute ? Ou l’attaque serait-elle plutôt liée à son travail d’avocate ?
Phil est tout aussi désespéré de résoudre l’enquête avant que quelqu’un ne meurt réellement et que ce quelqu’un ne s’avère être Tom. Au moins l’un de leur suspect cache un terrible secret, ce qui fait du sixième de Tom, qui lui permet de trouver des choses dissimulées, une cible dans son dos…
Attention : contient un détective macho, silencieux et fort ; un plombier insolent et gai, maître d’un chat ; et un cadeau amusant de l’au-delà qui fera grimper le matou au plafond.
Available on Kindle: Amazon