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Author of new crime novel set in Detroit says city is the “best ‘frenemy’ you’ll ever have”

Flickr user ifmuth
Jones, a poet and a playwright, set his first novel in Detroit's Mexicantown.

August Snow is a crime novel about a former Detroit police officer fired after investigating the mayor’s office. Snow, the main character, sues the city and receives a large settlement.

After touring Europe and the Mediterranean (taking a world beer tour of sorts), Snow returns to Detroit and settles in Mexicantown, the neighborhood he grew up in. He then begins rehabbing houses on his block.

Stephen Mack Jones, the novel's author, placed his main character in Mexicantown because of its "tremendous history."

"Whenever I think 'Mexicantown,'" he said, "I think the warmth of the people, the warmth of the food."

While Jones' main character loves his neighborhood, his relationship with Detroit is more "ambivalent."

“I think August sees Detroit much as I see Detroit,” Jones said. “And that is the best 'frenemy' you’ll ever have.”

While Jones is "baffled" Detroit has become as trendy as it has, he said anybody out there should see for themselves. 

"Try the Cabresto tequila," he said, "Try Valentine vodka."

His novel makes that point too. Cabresto, for instance, appears a couple times throughout. It's a trendy tequila produced by a family in southwest Detroit. You can learn more about it here. (Valentine vodka is also made in the city. Check it out here.)

For Stateside's full conversation with Jones, listen above. 

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