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No Dice: A Detective Dave Mason Mystery Book I Paperback – December 3, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984495207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984495207
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,434,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mar Preston was a political insider during Santa Monica's rent control and living wage wars. An avid student of the city's changing urban landscape, she loves watching the dance between politics, money, real estate and the old-fashioned land grab.

A second novel featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department will be released in 2011. Mar Preston works as an editor, teaches creative writing and memoir workshops.

Customer Reviews

The story has lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Amazon Customer
The story gives us a clear and sympathetic view of the main characters trying to balance their personal lives with their professions.
inthetules
You get where you want to know what happened to the characters after the book ended.
Gael Bailey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mitch on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting story of a community minded member (Ginger) that finds herself in the middle of an upcoming election of opposing elements-do you have a designer casino? Is it helpful or harmful? The politics, pro & con; money for the community, yes or no & how to use it? Beneficial or not? It addresses the dangers inherent of politics and big money.

The characters are strong minded. It reveals the battle between national power/money & municipal authorities/law & individual community members. Ginger is a tenacious, smart and problem solving person. Detective Mason & his crew are street smart & quick thinking while dealing with their own daily circumstances.

The writer, Mar Preston, delivers the characters' personalities, weaknesses & determinations for their specific goals, right or wrong. It is well written, leaving you with questions as Ms. Preston moves on to other scenes & situations.... answering all of your questions, eventually. #
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
i am totally shocked that this is the author's FIRST novel! It is such a fast paced who-dun-it, that I would have thought she had 5 or 6 books under her belt! Guess being a creative writing teacher really DOES give you the writing chops!

You will be hooked from the first chapter of the tight story. Her characters are lively, true to life and you can't beat real life for giving you an excellent backdrop to base a story on! The story has lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Even if you guess who the murder suspect is before the end, you'll be flipping the pages quickly to see how they get caught! You'll also be hoping there will be another book to follow- and there will be!

If you're looking for a new voice in the police procedural genre, check out Mar Preston!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nelson on January 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
I totally enjoyed this book. Santa Monica is a place where development politics are serious business and everybody in town has an opinion. Having lived there, I could just imagine the hoo ha if a gambling outfit came to town! That's what Preston's done in No Dice and made it a fun, fast paced read.
I really liked Ginger, the community organizer who leads the opposition to the casino. I was rooting for her and Mason, the homicide cop, to get together. I liked the fact that she was smart, and even though she had a physical disability, she faced the killer and used her wits to excape.
I know cops, the good ones and the bad ones, and the author portrayed them honestly and sympathetically, warts and all.
There's apparently another Preston crime novel coming. Can't wait!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patty on October 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed how the characters were developed thoroughly to the point of making them come alive (even the short lived one in the story had her character developed). I know when I read a good fiction book when I start asking myself throughout my working day- "Gee, I wonder what he/she would do if they were in my situation?".
This book has that.
In addition, it does not have you so bogged down with character development that you lose the pace of suspense. A very nice balance.
I noticed that another review focused on grammatical errors and having volumes quoted some places and not others. I did notice 3 or so mistyped words etc..., but I have seen that in many many novels that have also been boring with little and no character development.
If the story, plot, characters, are good, that is key to me and thus gives the book a high rating. I am buying more copies to give as Christmas gifts. Enough said.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Conrad Johnson on April 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Preston immerses the reader in the hectic world of police procedural mystery which is sometimes confusing but aren't unsolved murders always? Stick it out and enjoy the brusque language, original insight and surprisingly semi hard boiled prose from a female author who is not afraid to push the envelope.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Title: No Dice
Author: Mar Preston
ISBN: 978-0984495207
Publisher: Create Space

Local opposition to establishing casinos in Santa Monica is the basis for this murder mystery by author Mar Preston. Activist Ginger Sinclair teamed up with Councilwoman Kathleen Dyson to try and stop the vote from going in favor of legalizing gambling in this city. But, casinos are moneymakers and billions of dollars can be brought in but someone decided to stop the vote cold by committing murder. Ginger Sinclair was on her way home when she received a call from Kathleen to get her glasses in her to deliver a speech at the art glass center. Tired and really not wanting to do anything but go home and relax she backtracks, goes to her office gets the glasses and falls prey to the wiles of the same killer that murdered her friend. Reporting the crime does not prove to be a positive experience nor does it eliminate her as a suspect. Detective Dave Mason is assigned the case and treats Ginger as his primary suspect from the start.

Dave Mason does not have just the murder to handle. His soon to be ex-wife calls him moments before he gets the call about the homicide focusing his attention on his daughter and family. Bullying in schools is a primary issue we read about in the newspapers or on the net when kids are victimized in cyberspace and in school. His daughter refuses to go to school and creates false illnesses and excuses to stay home much to the frustration of her mother who needs his help.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

I've learned a thing or two after writing four unpublishable novels and then four modestly successful mysteries, plus having a new one poised to go.

I've put everything I've heard about, and learned through hard experience, into writing three short eBooks on the craft of writing mysteries.

These eBooks will not teach you to write. You can't really learn that from any book. I wrote hundreds of thousands of words to teach myself how to write anything someone would want to read. It takes practice and learning the craft.

Writing Your First Mystery is a free download on my website. http://marpreston.com The companion volumes are available on Amazon and they're cheap.

One writer's voice may not ignite the spark to write your first mystery. If this turns out not to be the book for you, try another craft book. Study the first 50 pages of mysteries that you love. Figure out why you like them. But keep writing.

As to my mysteries:

What if a major gambling outfit tried to build a high-rise casino in downtown, upscale Santa Monica? What if one of the city councilmembers, like the ones I knew well, was murdered before she could cast the deciding vote? This is the basic plot of my first Dave Mason mysteries called No Dice. Readers call it a financial thriller. I think of it as a novel about a social issue, one with meat on its bones.

The second one, Rip-Off, tells what happened when a wily pair of high-tech burglars encounter Chechen organized crime in Detective Dave Mason's Santa Monica. The most recent Dave Mason novel is called On Behalf of the Family.

A car arson fire claims the life of a beautiful young girl, a rich Muslim student at Santa Monica College. What is this? Is it a hate crime? Domestic abuse, honor killing, or what? Detective Dave Mason must break through the family's silent conspiracy surrounding her vicious murder. He is handicapped by fact that the eleven members of her family who share the mansion in the high-end real estate section of Santa Monica do not speak English. Or so they say.

The city is in turmoil, accusing the department of racism and worse. Mason makes a promise to a girl he never met that he will bring her justice; yet, he is drawn away from the turbulent investigation with a promise to the love of his life. Can he keep his promises to both of them when political blow back and an escalating demand for answers threaten every step he takes?

Joseph Wambaugh fans will enjoy this behind the scenes look at a police department in a liberal city which cannot accept that an honor killing has come to the glitzy shores of upscale, tourist-destination Santa Monica.

I am a long-term Santa Monica resident, and student of the Santa Monica Police Department, as well as the worldwide incidence of the killing and maiming of women who violate fundamentalist cultural norms.

In Santa Monica development politics are blood sport. I love the city. It's built out to its glamorous edges, one of which is the Pacific Ocean. What gets built--and doesn't get built--stirs up hot disputes and marathon city council meetings. I loved the idea of playing with the dynamics between big money and big ideas that change the urban landscape. Just as fascinating are the interactions between cops, celebrities, tourists, and community activists.

I was a burnt out academic researcher for decades, then grant writer, editor, and creative writing teacher. At the same time I was a political insider during Santa Monica's rent control and living wage wars. Getting a good mystery out of what goes on behind the scenes makes all those dreary council meetings worthwhile.

In the meantime Payback, my third novel is the debut of a mystery suspense series which takes place in the mountain village somewhat like the one where I live in the Los Padres National Forest. I hope you will like Payback, featuring Detective Dex Stafford of the Kern County Sheriff's Department and his prickly ally, Holly Seabright of the town's patrol department.

Their adventure begins in a forest fire when the mayor's beheaded body is found with a note reading "payback" stuffed in his mouth. And ends where a much grimmer shadow looms over the town.