Santa Monica’s beaches are a tourist destination for millions of international travelers and they are the target of crime. Dave Mason is a homicide detective with the Santa Monica Police Department. The city is also called The Home of the Homeless. Homeless people like sunshine and beaches as much as anyone else and a felon on the run can’t flee from trouble any further west.
And it’s also the home of about 90,000 residents, most of them ordinary dog-petting citizens.But Santa Monica is more known for celebrity sightings and drunken starlet wrecks in Lamborghinis on the Pacific Ocean Highway. It’s also not the murder capital of the world, so Dave Mason works major violent crimes as well as the occasional high-profile homicide.
I’m working on the fifth Dave Mason whodunit now, as yet untitled. Dave is 37, tall, becoming silver-haired, and bears the scars of a veteran hockey player. Occasionally a woman’s head turns to give him a second and then a third glance. But Ginger McNair, a liberal activist in a left-leaning city, won his heart long ago. When they met she summed him up as a conservative, Republican cop; he figured her for a mushy-headed radical. Neither of them is quite right.
Mason has a sense of humor but it’s dry and he has to watch himself for sarcasm. He loves the chase, the capture, the bullshit, the puzzle—the easy ones where there’s an uncomplicated solution.
At the beginning of the series, Mason is reeling from the news his wife wants a divorce and will be taking his beloved daughter to live with her and a comic book artist Mason despises. Dave can’t take it in. Why? Numbly he meets Ginger who is a witness in a case which ties him up in knots.
Five novels later, Mason and his partner Art Delgado have solved cases dealing with City Hall shenanigans, high-tech burglary, an honor killing, a private school, and now in By Accident, celebrity crime involving star-spangled Hollywood superstars in a social media catastrophe.