REVIEW: Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case, by A.J. Sherwood

Jon's Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case

Title: Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case

Series: Jon’s Mysteries Case 1

Author: A.J. Sherwood

Genre: Mystery

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay/Bi

Publisher: Self

Pages: 309

Reviewer: Pat

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About The Book

A psychic without an anchor. A student in trouble. A shooter on the loose.

I’m Jonathan Bane, a licensed psychic who consults for the police. I routinely help the police put the bad guys away and, for that reason, the criminal world doesn’t like me much. People like to take a swing at me, or go stabbity, or try for a gun. It makes for interesting times. My psychic ability prevents me from handling anything electronic—and I do mean ANYTHING, I fry it in seconds—so calling for help isn’t always a possibility. 

I need an anchor, a partner, but I’m resigned: it’s just wishful thinking.

At least, I thought so until he walked through the door.

Donovan Havili looks like a thug and has the soul of a superhero. He shines so bright in my vision it’s like watching a supernova. He definitely has the right mindset and skills for this crazy job. But asking anyone to take me on long-term is a bit much. And now we’ve got multiple cases to handle, a Chinese exchange student falsely accused who needs our help, and someone taking random shots at me. It’s a bit much for any new guy to handle and I’m half-afraid that my new partner will run for the door.

But in Donovan Havili, the criminal world has met its match. And maybe, just maybe, I have as well.

Trigger Warnings: Your average cop show violence and criminals

The Review

I’ve noticed in the past year or so that delving into the books written by QRI’s DNA (Discover a New Author) posts can lead me down some interesting and unique alleyways of queer romance. Take the books in A. J. Sherwood’s Jon’s Mystery Cases series.

In this first novel, we meet psychic Jonathan Bane, who’d ideally like an anchor but would settle for a boyfriend who’d stick around for a while. That’s a tall order because of the  byproducts of Jon’s amazing talent of being able to read police suspects and almost instantly to determine their guilt or innocence. Often these sessions end with Jon suffering from a debilitating migraine or worse.

Jon acknowledges that he needs a boyfriend, partner, or anchor who doesn’t mind that he fries anything electronic when he gets near it, meaning kitchen appliances are off limits as are wristwatches, computers, cell phones, and well, practically everything that makes modern life modern. 

An acceptable boyfriend, partner, or anchor also has to be able to keep his head and help Jon when he collapses under the weight of what he can read about others. That means carrying around emergency supplies such as water bottles, aspirins, and mineral tablets as well as an eye mask. If he can lift and carry Jon that would be even better.

As one can imagine, Jon has lost hope for finding a life partner, but he thinks it might be possible to find a reasonably competent partner.

Onto the scene steps Donovan Havili with the height, weight, tats, and dark attitude that make most people take a few steps back when they meet. Since Jason Momoa’s rise to stardom on Game of Thrones and Aquaman, it seems a lot of romance heroes have started looking like a tall, muscled, grave-faced Pacific Islander who has the heart of a teddy bear. Donovan is no exception.

Fortunately, author Sherwood’s love interest for Jon, while fitting the current profile, is fleshed out with an interesting personality and an even more interesting family. These help him stand out from the crowd of Momoa lookalikes. 

Best of all, Sherwood’s plots are unique and quirky, the kind that keep the reader guessing throughout the story. This first book’s case involving a male foreign exchange student who’s charged with harassing a female student while Jon dodges bullets set the tone and complexity found in the second book as well.

I heartily recommend this first book to both readers of paranormal as well as crime fiction. Those looking for an interesting couple and their romantic journey will be delighted with Sherwood’s intriguing world. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

The Reviewer

Pat is a writer and reviewer of MM romance who currently lives in Sacramento, California.

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