Relief Valve was something of a surprise. A pleasant surprise which should not be construed to imply JL Merrow isn't always a pleasure to read. Pressure Head, the first story with Tom and Phil was a serious crime story. The second installment wasn't exactly light hearted, but had elements of comedy sprinkled throughout in unexpected places: a one hit wonder killer, a man of the cloth turned taxidermist, and Tom and Phil's not so normal version of romance.
I made several wrong guesses along the way and was mildly surprised to find out who the murderer was. Not completely taken off guard, for the author was careful to lay a subtle series of clues that were overshadowed by red herrings.
After reading this, I'm wondering if the Brits aren't more eccentric than BBC might lead one to believe.