"Detective Mike Mason now lives in Pacifica, a small Coastal town just south of San Francisco, but is drawn back to the rough streets of the city's Tenderloin District by a new client," reads the teaser from the recently released gumshoe novel "Coastside Detectives: The Grand View" by Matthew O'Malley. "Her name is Laura Grandviewer and she is as beautiful as she is untrustworthy." Like detective Mike Mason, author "Matt" O'Malley lives in Pacifica but keeps a foot in San Francisco.
"I was born and raised in San Francisco," O'Malley said, "I lived all over the city. I moved to Pacifica at the end of the '90s." In a snap, O'Malley rattles off what he loves about both locales.

"In San Francisco I love the diversity aspects — the people, food, neighborhoods and entertainment. I also enjoy the history and the general beauty. It's my hometown! In Pacifica I love the nature — the hills, mountains and the sea — and the small town feel, the people, the various groups that make this community including the Moose Lodge, the Pacifica Historical Society, the Lions Club, etc. It's my new hometown!" Mike Mason is the first in a long line of O'Malley-created West Coast PI's, who will travel from the "fog-scrubbed sky viewed from California's winding Highway One," right into the eye of a criminal hurricane. Author O'Malley is already writing the second book in his series and his third book is in outline form. Saturday afternoon, the author will pull up a chair at Florey's Books to talk about and sign copies of his work.

O'Malley has always enjoyed reading mysteries. He has also always found joy in writing. Combining the two interests was an easy fit.

"I've always liked the radio classic programs — 'The Whistler,' 'Johnny Dollar,' and noir stylized movies," O'Malley said. "We would listen to the classic radio programs as they were replayed in the seventies, before we had a television. When we finally had a television, I gravitated to watching the noir movies based in San Francisco. I would look for familiar landmarks and compare them to what I knew about the area — fun stuff!

What I like about the genre is that a good detective series not only brings you a puzzle to solve and a sense of adventure, it brings you to a moment, to an area where you can live and breathe the life along with the characters. An example is Tony Hillerman novels where as you read them, you become immersed in the Southwest." "The Grand View" takes place in the last few years. "Armando's Gold," the next book in the O'Malley series, is dated by events that occur in the months prior to the opening of the Devil's Slide tunnel.

From thought-in-his-head to book-on-the-shelf, the author said "The Grand View" took about three years.

"I initially wrote Coastside Detectives in the first few months of 2008. I then let it set in the 'oven to cook' for about a year. In 2009, I started to re-write it, a sentence here, a page there." O'Malley, who has a day job, studied physical geography in college, a field which has lent itself to all aspects of his life, including writing.

"Physical geography is basically geology," the author said. "The study forces you to stop and contemplate the world around you." During college, O'Malley worked as a medical courier in San Francisco. He also has friends who are local sanitation workers. "Now they have stories!" the author laughed. But both jobs provided him with a "writing" thought process that easily lead along darkened film-noir-like streets.

Additionally the author of the self-published collection of short stories "Tales for Sale," O'Malley said his detective Mike Mason is modeled after Humphrey Bogart and Gavin Newsom. He also said Mike's partner, Joe Ballard, is through and through, a Pacifican.

"One of the on-going threads alluded to in this first story and found in the subsequent ones, is that Joe Ballard is a Moose Lodge member and he keeps inviting Mike to join," O'Malley said. "Mike always finds ways out of joining or participating in the lodge functions." The recent recipient of multiple flash story contests, which are included in a collaborative book and art exhibit hosted by Kenney Mencher currently on display at the Art Haus Gallery in San Francisco, O'Malley can be further investigated on his website at www.coastsidedetectives.com. Be sure to click into his darkly arty "Coastside Detectives" book trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ogos9gA15o) — where the very "living" author makes a film appearance as the "dead body."