Psychic plummer Tom is still struggling with the revelation he received at the end of the previous book, Relief Valve, that the man who raised him was not really his father. It makes him doubt what he thought he knew about both of his parents. Meanwhile, Tom’s maybe-boyfriend Phil is asked to look into a stalker bothering one of the barmaids at Tom’s favorite pub.
This third installment of the Plumer’s Mate series is a bit of a departure. There is no over-arching mystery to solve, at least at the outset, and there are no new significant characters introduced in this book. Instead, we learn a lot more about Tom and Phil, especially Phil’s past, as the two start to have some serous thoughts about their relationship.
The murder mystery, when it does appear, becomes a vehicle for more revelations about Phil and the reasons he left the police force. The news threatens the two men’s sometimes fragile relationship and it’s not always clear if they will still be together in the end. This installment of the series really does feel like a turning point in the over-arching story of Tom and Phil. I won’t give away how it ends.
While it may take some time to appear, this is still essentially a mystery story, and it’s a pretty good one. Adding interest to the mystery is the fact that several of the main suspects are significant characters in the series. Doubts about who the murderer is will keep you turning pages through the last half of the book.
“Heat Trap” is available from Amazon.