Author: JL Merrow
What I’m Talking About:
As they merge the rest of their lives, working together should be a natural progression of things for recently affianced Tom Paretski and Phil Morrison. And, that seems to be the case, at least, until a favor for a friend of a friend results in yet another dead body. Now, with tensions rising at home as well as in the field, their happily ever after may not be as certain as they thought.
In this final addition to The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries, Tom and Co. (i.e. the survivors to date) are all back and gearing up for the wedding we’ve all been waiting for. With his best friend and sister both happily married to the respective loves of their lives, and his own nuptials fast approaching, Lock Nut sets out to be the perfect ending to a series that has been somewhat, if comically, less than kind to its main characters. Not to change a good thing however, the author still has a plenty of torture in mind for Tom after all.
As was the case with the previous story, there were a few specifics in Lock Nut that felt incomplete. These were mainly questions raised during the course of the narrative that never seemed to have been fully answered. Although my overly picky sensibilities were incapable of ignoring them, they don’t really impact the outcome in a meaningful way, leaving the mystery itself, along with happenings of all the characters, to carry the plot as they should.
The whodunit half of Lock Nut kept me guessing for quite a while, which I enjoyed a great deal, even though I wasn’t entirely convinced of the villains’ cleverness so much as their good fortune via the mistakes of others. There was also an “ick factor” regarding a younger character’s age that I agreed with Tom’s initial reaction about, but it wasn’t anything explicit (or even immediate) and things worked out in the end.
Overall, Lock Nut delivers the HEA that the author has been teasing her audience with for a long time. Tom and Phil’s relationship is more comfortable and sincere than ever—which, of course, allows Tom to find even more things to worry about. Though certainly not perfect, there’s an ease to their interactions, and the taunting and poking they aim at one another was among my favorite aspects of the whole story. This no-nonsense sort of affection between them works very well, and is responsible for making Lock Nut a good way to say goodbye to a bunch of characters I’ve come to like quite a lot.
My Rating: B, Liked It
About the Book:
Still waters run deadly.
Tom Paretski, plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, and his private investigator fiancé Phil Morrison have been hired to locate a runaway husband, Jonathan Parrot. The job seems simple enough—until their quarry turns up dead in a canal, and a photofit of Tom’s face is splashed all over the news, making him chief suspect.
The widow, petite ex–porn star Lilah Lovett, is convinced her husband was killed by his gay lover, but Tom and Phil aren’t so sure. Worried they may have precipitated Jonathan’s death, they’re determined to find the real killer. But with a web of incestuous ties linking the suspects, it’s hard to know who to trust. Especially when a second victim dies a gruesome death.
Meanwhile, with their wedding looming and them sharing a house now, Tom’s worried it may all be too much, too fast. The last thing he needs are the mixed messages Phil seems to be sending out. They’ll need to get back on the same track if they want to make it to their honeymoon together—and alive.
Release Date: May 14, 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, m/m
Format(s): paperback (346 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley
Reviews in the Series:
Pressure Head by JL Merrow (The Plumber’s Mate #1)
Relief Valve by JL Merrow (The Plumber’s Mate #2)
Heat Trap by JL Merrow (The Plumber’s Mate #3)
Blow Down by JL Merrow (The Plumber’s Mate #4)