Jed “Hammerhead” Ounstead

Created by A.J. Devlin

Fed up with the pro wrestling circuit, JED “HAMMERHEAD” OUNSTEAD hangs up his tights and goes to work as a bouncer at , and helping out with  “some of the leg work from time to time” at his dad Frank’s Vancouver, B.C. detective agency in Cobra Clutch (2018). It’s a rollicking, good-natured romp full of action, guns, puns, a slew of colourful characters and settings, and, uh, banana milkshakes, a particular weakness of Jed’s.

By the sequel, 2020’s Rolling Thunder (2020), he’s working for his dad full-time at the newly re-Christened Ounstead & Son Investigators,  whose offices are conveniently located upstair’s from his cousin Declan’s pub. This time Jed’s going round and round at the roller derby, looking for his old pal Stormy Daze’s missing coach, who goes by the nake of–I shit thee not–Lawrence of O’Labia (it’s a womens’ team).

Or, as the blub says, it’s another entry in the “award-winning mystery series with its unbeatable one-two punch of over-the-top-rope humour and elbow-to-the-face adventure.”

A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California, where he eventually earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from Chapman University and a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute. After working as a screenwriter in Hollywood he escaped and found his way back home to Port Moody, BC, where he now lives with his wife and two children. Cobra Clutch, his first novel, won the Best First Crime Novel prize at the Arthur Ellis Awards and was nominated for Best Debut at the Lefty Awards.


  • Cobra Clutch masterfully blends humor, mystery, thrills, action, romance, and heart into a hell of a story featuring a lively wrestler-turned-PI hero. The action scenes are intense, the quiet times heartwarming and engaging, and the humor expertly interjected to accentuate characters and breathe realism into the story.”
    — John M. Murray (Foreword Reviews)
  • Cobra Clutch is a terrific novel, bringing the seamier side of Vancouver to life, while amusing us with witty dialogue, startling characters and amazing plot twists.”
    — Susan Hoover (Reviewing the Evidence)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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