Review: Blow Down by J.L. Merrow

Posted March 29, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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Review: Blow Down by J.L. Merrow
Blow Down

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: The Plumber's Mate #4
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on March 26, 2018
Pages: 332
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Now (in)famous for his psychic abilities, Tom the plumber stumbles over another body at the harvest fair.  I enjoy these lighthearted romantic suspenses set in suburban Hertfordshire following along as Tom navigates life with a psychic gift that’s more like a curse while dealing with quirky family and friends, a complex relationship, and his work escapades. Slow-moving, humorous, but engaging!


Blow Down is book four in the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries.  It’s a series that works best in order since the mystery is only one of the elements of a surrounding, ongoing story.

Tom has the whole engagement settled, but now he’s getting antsy whenever anyone brings up actually setting a date, planning a wedding, moving in together, children… yeah, he’d rather talk about a stopped up toilet job.  But, at the moment, he gets help distracting everyone when he stumbles, literally, over a dead body and he and Phil are off to find the killer before Tom ends up resting in permanent peace next to the awful woman who was the victim.

I think this series requires the reader to appreciate the slow and gentle pacing of a cozy mystery.  Like others in the series, there are sharp, intense moments when murder or threats to Tom and Phil occur, but for the most part, it meanders through Tom’s life.  He can get stuck on something in his head, angsty and snarky, but he and his surrounding friends, family, and suspects are a lot of fun.

It’s not all just larks.  Tom’s still sorting out what it means to be the proof of a parent’s infidelity, if he can survive the big ‘meet the in-laws’ moment, and also has a few worries when he considers if Phil is over his past relationship.  Plus, he’s not winning friends as he investigates a murder.

The mystery was low key.  I cottoned to the suspect soon enough though the motive and actions were confusing enough to have me doubt my guess once.

In summary, this was another fun entry in the series.  I enjoy the lightly, engaging book for a good entertaining read.  I would recommend this one and the series to those who enjoy m/m romantic suspense and cozy mysteries.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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3 years ago

oh yes I saw this one around and the reviews were good, it made me curious of the series

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Glad to feed your curiosity, Melliane. 🙂

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

I haven’t seen this one before. It sounds like a good book tho and I do love a good mystery. Great reviews.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

The series has been around for a while, but it got a revamp with new editing and covers. I enjoyed the first one and then got distracted for a few years. I’m so glad to come back and get these stories in order. It’s neat how there are separate mysteries, but each book builds on the one before it with the romance and friends side.

3 years ago

I love mysteries lately!! 😀

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  LilyElement

I have definitely been bitten by the mystery bug, too. 😉

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

I’ve got this series marked to read..I love the mystery aspect.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh neat! It’s a fun blend of romance with cozy mystery. The humor and village setting is what makes these. 🙂

Carole's Random Life
3 years ago

I like the sound of this one. I really like the mystery and extra abilities aspect of the story.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, its fun to see him use his psychic gift. It’s not a big part of the story, but its definitely an important part that contributes to the solution to the mysteries some how.

Barks Book Nonsense
3 years ago

I think I might have one of these in the tbr or review queue. This one sounds pretty good. I’ll have to get to reading whichever one I have 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Isn’t that great when it works out that way? At least you aren’t like me when you see a book review and head over to buy it and… yep, already own it. LOL

3 years ago

I saw Lauren’s review for this one. I love a series with the same couple.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Karen

This pair are a crack up. They are such opposites. Phil is the trained PI and analytical while Tom is a bit all over the place, but manages to nose out the trouble by falling into it. 🙂

Melanie Simmons
3 years ago

This sounds really good. I haven’t read a good M/M Romantic Suspense since Ty and Zane.

Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I do adore Tom and Phil, but they are laid back village fellas, nothing like our Ty and Zane. 🙂 Still, they make for lots of fun when you want something light.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

The cozy vibes are nice now and again. I like that slower pace with mystery woven in. Glad to see you’re enjoying these!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I agree. I’ve cobbled together a list of about four or five cozy series that I really enjoy when I want something laid back and restful. Unfortunately, this series only has five books so just one more coming out in May. 🙁

3 years ago

This series sounds great and I like the sound of it, especially with how you compare it to a cozy. As I really like that meandering feel of cozies and how they deal with some personal life topics as well as a mystery. Another blogger was also leaving great reviews for this series and you both make me curious about this series. I have book 1 in this series on my wishlist.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, you probably would like them b/c of the cozy feel. It’s fun to get the British humor and slang, too. 🙂