Review - Stop Cock by JL Merrow

book cover

Stop Cock

by J.L. Merrow

My rating:

Volume 6 of The Plumber's Mate

Tags: Mystery

Posted in Book Reviews on August 22, 2021

Tom and Paul are looking forward to a romantic honeymoon in Sorrento but things take a disappointing turn when Paul's old school friend Wayne, who bullied Tom in school, shows up at breakfast the first morning, staying in the same hotel. The situation doesn't exactly improve when Wayne falls to his death from the hotel terrace a few nights later. It's hard for the pair not to look into the man's death, especially when it comes to light that Wayne may have had plans that involved Tom and some local gangsters.

I certainly thought the Plumber's Mate series had come to an end when the last book was published more than two years ago, but here we are, with another mystery full of red herrings and snarky dialog. This time, though, there's the added twist of a foreign setting among the ruins of ancient Rome.

The different setting means that, aside from Tom and Paul, the usual cast of friends and family is largely absent, except for a few phone calls. Instead we have a bit larger group of suspects, most of whom are guests at the hotel. It's all rather Agatha Christie “Evil Under the Sun” or “Caribbean Mystery”, which is no bad thing at all. Of course, Tom and Paul are completely different kinds of detectives compared to the classic sleuths, with their relationship being a key factor in the stories. Still, the variety of other characters and the rich detail they're described in definitely helps make this story such a fun read.

The couple remain an interesting contrast, and the plot of this installment in the series necessarily brings up their troubled past when Paul and Wayne bullied Tom, ultimately causing an injury which left Tom slightly handicapped. As always, it's nice to see a couple that has real problems of the kind most face when they have history together. The fact that they keep overcoming these obstacles together probably means that we might still be in for more from this series.

“Stop Cock” is available from Amazon.

comments powered by Disqus