CWC Interview with A.J. Devlin!

Jan 13, 2022

Cobra Clutch and Rolling Thunder author A.J. Devlin recently sat down with Bob Harris from Crime Writers of Canada to talk about the “Hammerhead” Jed Mystery series, including the latest instalment, Five Moves of Doom, which comes out Fall 2022. Our thanks to the CWC Newsletter and Winona Kent for spotlighting providing us with this interview. Authors and crime fiction fans can join and become members on the Crime Writers of Canada website.

From the CWC Newsletter:

Who is your main character? His lifestyle? “My protagonist is ‘Hammerhead’ Jed Ounstead – a pro wrestler detective with a weak spot for banana milkshakes, Guinness, and helping those in need. While he still wrestles locally in Vancouver for an independent organization, he was once on his way to superstardom in the WWE before walking away from the company at the peak of his rising fame and fortune. His reason for doing so is one of the subplots of the first book in the series, Cobra Clutch.”

How did your book title emerge? “Each title in the ‘Hammerhead’ Jed series is the name of a professional wrestling move, which also serves as a metaphor for where the character is at in each story. ‘Five Moves of Doom’ are a particular set of moves that legends of the squared circle like Bret Hart, The Rock, and John Cena would utilize to indicate to the crowd that their victory was nigh. It also has a bit of an ominous overtone to it, which hints at the adversity Jed faces in the threequel as he catches a case that leads him to infiltrate the tight-knit mixed martial arts community.”

What inspired this story? “Wanting to explore how Jed – a character so defined by his physicality – would handle working a case where for the first time he finds himself no longer the biggest or toughest guy in the room.”

Who were your technical consultants? “Gerry Gionco, Vancouver’s well-known combat sports event promoter, provided valuable insight on the Mixed Martial Arts scenes. Also my friend Joel Johnston, retired VPD Sergeant 1314, MMA trained fighter, and published author, guided me on law enforcement and action.”

When is the publication date? “September 15, 2022.”

Who are your influences? “My late professor, mentor, and friend Leonard Schrader, Joe R. Lansdale, Robert Crais, Carl Hiaasen, and Michael Connelly.”

Milestones and light bulb moments? “Being nominated for a Left Coast Crime ‘Lefty’ Award for Best Debut Mystery, winning the 2018 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence (formerly the Arthur Ellis Awards) Best Crime First Novel and having my books spotlighted in the Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Globe and Mail, and being a guest on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter.”
“Light bulb moment was definitely cooking up a wrestler-detective character and trying to differentiate him from other athlete sleuths in crime fiction.”

Comments on “Signed By Author books sell well”? “Great tag line and very true!”

Future projects? “Continuing ‘Hammerhead’ Jed’s adventures in which he investigates mysteries in and around fringe sports and unique subcultures.”

Please visit A.J.’s website: