Stop Cock by JL Merrow @jlmerrow @RiptideBooks

Posted November 7, 2021 by Sophia in Book Review / 14 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Stop Cock by JL Merrow @jlmerrow @RiptideBooksStop Cock by JL Merrow
Series: Plumber's Mate Mysteries #6
Published by Riptide Publishing on June 14, 2021
Genres: M/M Romance, Mystery
Pages: 259
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Plumber Tom Paretski and his newly-wedded husband, PI Phil Morrison, plan to enjoy their honeymoon in Italy to the full. It should be the start of a wonderful future together. But when Wayne—Phil’s ex best mate and Tom’s former bully—turns up unexpectedly at their hotel, issues from their schooldays threaten to derail the fun. Tom may not bear a grudge against Phil for past injuries any longer, but Wayne’s another matter—or is he?

Wayne now seems determined to make friends, but Tom’s struggling to forgive and forget. To add to his confusion, cryptic messages from home spark the question: Are he and Phil are really as in tune as he thought? Tom’s not the first man Phil ever made a commitment to, and that marriage turned sour sooner rather than later.

It shouldn’t surprise them when death explodes onto the scene in shocking fashion, and their honeymoon turns into a murder investigation. When the group of locals Wayne had been meeting with turn their attention to Tom’s psychic abilities, he and Phil will need to pull together to figure out what’s going on—or risk this trip being the last they’ll ever take.

After tying the knot in the last book, Tom and Phil are off to the sun-drenched Naples’ coast for their honeymoon.  The cheeky blue-collar plumber and his brooding PI husband are a perfect match.  Tom tumbles into trouble and over bodies while Phil helps get at the truth.  I enjoy snarky, bumbling-mouthed Tom and deep Phil so I was glad the series didn’t end at the I-Do’s.

Stop Cock is the sixth installment of a series that works best in order when it comes to the personal and relationship side of the story.

Planning to visit the local sights, delight in the cuisine, and enjoy the amenities of their suite, they are a bit sidetracked when one of Phil’s old pals and Tom’s bullying enemies happens to show up and seems to be dogging their steps.  Tom and Phil are highly suspicious, but can’t figure his lay until he shows undo interest in Tom’s psychic finding gift and has clandestine meetings with some sketchy Italian guys.  But, it isn’t until a hotel guest plunges from the high balcony to his death that Tom and Phil resign themselves to sharing their honeymoon with a murder investigation.

Stop Cock took its time getting to the mystery.  The first section is all Tom and Phil on honeymoon and playing tourists.  It was sweet, but also slow going.  But, the bits and pieces leading to the murder are there and after the fact, the pace stayed gentle as they tried to get at the truth.  I figured out the truth as soon as a key bit was revealed about the past for one of the guests that tied to the deceased.

As with previous books, the personalities of the two main characters makes for a sparkling duo.  Tom tends to be a bit of a working class charmer when it comes to cozying up with people, but he also can get foot in mouth disease pretty often.  And, this happens a lot with Phil.  Phil and Tom struggle over their shared ugly past when Phil used to be one of Tom’s bullies when Phil was pretending to be straight and secretly, reluctantly attracted to Tom who was always sure of himself and out.  Love and a loving relationship don’t suddenly sweep away the past.

Now, I was a tad startled that the pair were already talking the addition of a little bundle of joy to their shiny new marriage, but it’s not like they haven’t been in a relationship for a bit.

I did miss having all the usual fun cast of characters around them, but I wasn’t too cut up since they were in Italy and met some interesting fellow travelers.

All in all, it was another engaging installment in the series and left me eager for more Plumber’s Mate Mysteries.  Those who don’t mind a mild psychic element and enjoy a cozy mystery with strong romantic elements should definitely give this series a go.

 

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Posted November 7, 2021 by Sophia in Book Review / 14 Comments


14 responses to “Stop Cock by JL Merrow

  1. Oh, it sounds like these two have quite the past. Nice that they’ve been able to get over it and get their HEA. A little mystery and romance is always a combo I enjoy. I’ll have to check out the series. Fab review, Sophia!

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  2. Jen

    OH…. I didn’t realize the 6th book was out. My friend reads this series, so I just let her know about it. She probably knew, since it’s been a few months, but Yea! Glad it’s still a good series and enjoyable read.