ARC-review: Heat Trap (Plumber’s Mate #3) by JL Merrow

First off: look at this cover! Isn’t is an absolute beauty? It has mystery and flair. I love it! Okay now that we have that out of the way, the review can begin.

Heat Trap is the third book in JL Merrow’s Plumber’s Mate series, a murder/mystery series that is utterly British in its awesomeness. The third installment continues Tom Paretski’s story: his romance with PI Phil, the mysteries he is involved in and the relationship with his family. The story started in Pressure Head and continued in Relieve Valve. In Heat Trap things are heating up for both the mystery aspect of the story and Tom’s relationship with Phil

The characters
The author has this quirky cast of characters. Tom with his ability to find stuff. From a leaky pipe to a body. Phil, Tom’s lover and who bullied Tom in high school but is now a private investigator with a drive to help people. Tom’s eccentric sister Cherry and fiance, the catholic canon Gregory and Tom’s friends who all have one thing or another that makes them fun to read about.

Like with the other books, I love how the author handles the characters, creates them. They are utterly normal, yet they are not and definitely not boring to read about

The mystery
In Heat Trap things are really heating up with this mystery. I liked how it was done. Compared to the first two books it was more intense, but it also get more personal and closer to home for Tom.

I wasn’t entirely happy with how the mystery concluded, but in a way it also fit. There is no plot whole or bad writing, but then you can’t always have this neatly wrapped up package.

The writing
Like the first two books the writing is flowing, solid and engaging and of course very British. You have to like this author’s particular brand of writing British slang, but – at least for me – it reads fine. I learn new words with every book I read by this author, but in such a way that it doesn’t take me finding a dictionary first.

The series
It’s clear that the series in ongoing. In Heat Trap you find little things that set up a next book. One in particular. So cute! Can’t wait to see how that pans out. No spoilers, but you’ll love it, I’m sure. I can’t recommend reading the series out of order, because there are certain elements of the story that started in the first book and are ongoing. Like Tom’s mending relationship with his sister and finding out some family history stuff.

Fans of the series will love this installment. It’s lightly edited and as far as I could tell, there are no differences in the story itself (i.e. the story itself was not added on). In Heat Trap things get more up close and personal for Tom and I liked how the serie grows. So yes, the book is definitely recommended.

Heat Trap Book Cover Heat Trap
Plumber's Mate
JL Merrow
contemporary, murder mystery, mystery
Riptide Publishing
March 5, 2018
A copy was provided through Netgalley

Old flames can leave a nasty burn.

It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit by a shocking revelation about his family, and he’s been avoiding dealing with it ever since. His lover, PI Phil Morrison, wants Tom to dig deeper into his history and try to develop his psychic talent for finding things, but Tom’s not nearly so keen. Just as he decides to bite the bullet, though, worse problems crawl out of the woodwork.

Young Devil’s Dyke barmaid Marianne has an ex, Grant Carey, who won’t accept that things are over between them, and he’s ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets in his way.  When Carey threatens an old friend of theirs, Phil and Tom step in to help—but that makes them targets themselves.

What with his uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the uncovering of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, Tom’s not sure who he can trust—and the body he finds in the pub cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Publisher's note: This is lightly edited reprint of a previously published novel.

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