Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on February 5, 2018
The Delight: Some snark, some drama, attempted murder, and a hesitant romance reminded me why I enjoyed Pressure Head, the first book in The Plumber’s Mate series about not exactly ‘everyday joe’ Tom Paretsky the plumber and his broody PI boyfriend, Phil.
The events of Relief Valve happen shortly after the dramatic ending of Pressure Head and the relationship plot thread carries through with a new mystery to stir up Tom and Phil and have them back to detecting once again. It’s probably not a great place to start in the series, but a reader could probably get by with just a moderate case of knowing they missed something.
Tom’s the main character and he’s a blend of fun and irritating in turn- yes, I have fun reading along. Tom’s blue collar all the way and knows he’s an irritant to the family after a doctor and a lawyer for older siblings. He likes working as a plumber and is good at it. Kinda fun that the author gives several passing scenes of him out on his jobs. He’s great with people and has a boyish charm that works on his clients and pretty much everyone. He gets himself all wound up about things and tends to drama up everything, but he’s hilarious and lovable all the same. He’s also just a wee bit psychic in that he has a gift. He can find things and he can sense in what spirit of mind the person was in who hid them. The police use him to help as a consultant and it was this gift that brought him and Phil together.
Yeah, Phil’s another interesting piece to the series. He was once Tom’s bully and was indirectly responsible for Tom being in a bad accident in high school days. Tom’s family knows this. Phil doesn’t work hard to ingratiate himself and tends to drive Tom insane with insecurity and a little jealousy for Phil’s mysterious deceased spouse. But the man has moved on, mostly, and embraces all that is Tom.
And, somewhere in the mix, Tom and Phil stumble upon another mystery to work. Only this one hits very close to home. Make that two mysteries with one taking up the most attention. Someone poisoned Tom’s sister Cherry’s drink at her own engagement party and they soon ferret out there might be a few who had a motive. Or was it Tom who was the intended victim since the other mystery involving an inheritance might be the motive?
I can’t understand why I didn’t continue on with this series after enjoying Pressure Head, but now with Riptide’s Re-releases of The Plumber’s Mate mysteries, I plan to keep going this time around. I enjoy Tom, Phil, and the whole gang of colorful village characters and can’t wait to see what comes next. This was a cozy mystery blended with spicy m/m romance and more than a smidge of comedy added in for flavor. Definitely recommend!
My thanks to Riptide for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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