#BookBeginnings Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack Jones

Today I’m starting a book set in Detroit, Michigan: Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack Jones for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack Jones

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Detroit ex-cop August Snow spends his time renovating houses in a neighborhood called Mexicantown. After a young girl from the community is found dead,  Snow discovers she was last seen alive during an ICE raid. Soon he is embroiled in a violent campaign to prevent the perpetrators from acting again.

First Sentence:

Her secret ingredient was nutmeg.

Not a lot — maybe half teaspoon or less — but she got the same complex undercurrent effect that she would have with smoked East Indian paprika or authentic Mexican chili powder.


I read some reviews of this novel that suggested it has a lot of violence, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the beginning. In fact, I really like the description. I want to know who “she” is and also what exactly the narrator is making.

What do you think? Have you read a book by Stephen Mack Jones? Would you read this one?


Aside:  I have website that lists children’s books set in 50 different states, and thought it might be fun to try the same thing with mysteries. I already have three mystery series set in Arizona. Do you have any suggestions for others?


  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    A timely topic! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

    • Roberta

      It is interesting about the timeliness if you consider it can take a couple of years for a book to be written, edited and published.

  2. Anne@Headfullofbooks

    My secret ingredient in lasagna is nutmeg. So now it isn’t a secret. My Friday quotes

    • Roberta

      I won’t tell anyone your secret.
      I tend to neglect nutmeg. Maybe it is time to explore its potential.

  3. Catherine @ Book Club Librarian

    Can’t remember the last time (if ever) I’ve read an opening line that is a cooking tip.

    • Roberta

      Especially a novel that doesn’t have food as a major component.

  4. Ashley S.

    Sounds like a compelling read. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  5. Julie

    Haha, the beginning does not go together with the blurb at all. Such opposites!

    • Roberta

      Exactly. If the beginning is a promise to the reader revealing what is coming next, this one is lying a bit, I think.

  6. Yvonne

    I haven’t read this author yet, but the book sounds really good.

  7. Nicki J. Markus

    Happy Reading. Hope you enjoy it.

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