I'm Carmen Amato.
Author of stylish suspense and the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco.
Dedicated to quickening reader heart rates around the world.
Amato skillfully juxtaposes the Mexican city of Acapulco’s glittering, wealthy enclaves with its seamy, violent underbelly . . . with danger and betrayal never more than a few pages away.KIRKUS REVIEWS
From the moment I started the first one, I couldn’t put it down. Her work touches on important issues affecting Mexico in a real, human way and is exciting, fast paced and utterly gripping.MEXICO RETOLD
This is an international mystery and crime thriller that’s truly worthy of that description. One of the best novels I’ve read in some time.MORCAN BOOKS AND FILM
Amato combines marvelous detail about life in Mexico City with a poignant love story between the unlikeliest of individuals, woven seamlessly into an enthralling political drama.LITERARY FICTION REVIEW
Amato brings her characters to life with her vivid writing style and sets them on the streets of a Mexico steeped in Catholicism and corruption.ONLINEBOOKCLUB.ORG
Meet Emilia in the FREE Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library
Including “The Beast,” previously featured on the Huffington Post’s Fiction50 showcase
We’d be pleased to publish “The Beast” . . . all of us here who read it were quite enamored of it.Alex Eichler, editor, HUFFINGTON POST Fiction50
Emilia is definitely a character that is close to my heart. She is a real gem with human feelings, a strong personality that doesn’t bend.MYSTERY SEQUELS
An excerpt from "The Beast"
Lieutenant Inocente leaned back in his chair. As before, he hadn’t invited her to sit so Emilia stayed standing in front of his desk.
“Cruz,” he said. “I’ve heard that you did everything by the book. Outstanding patrol record. Got a real nice recommendation from your sergeant. Highest grade on the exam. Won the hand-to-hand.” He ran a finger over his moustache. “But the detective unit is a tight-knit group. Can’t say that you’re a good fit.”
“Let me assure you, teniente,” Emilia said. “I’m a team player. I will be giving this job my best effort.”
Lieutenant Inocente slowly sat upright. “Let me put this in a way you’ll understand, Cruz,” he said. “Unless one of my detectives steps up and says they’ll take you on as partner, you just wasted a lot of time and energy going after this job.”
Emilia felt a rush of anger. “That wasn’t a criteria last year,” she pointed out. “Or the year before. Or any year.”
“You’re not last year,” Lieutenant Inocente said.
He got out of his chair and walked past her into the squadroom. Emilia followed.
“This is Cruz Encinos,” Lieutenant Inocente said loudly and every man in the room turned to look. “You’ve all heard she’s the detective candidate from the ranks this year. If one of you wants to partner with her, she’ll be joining the squadroom.”
He looked around and the words if not hung in the air.
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Detective Emilia Cruz series
The first female police detective in Acapulco can take the heat. Can you?
This prequel collection of short stories captures Emilia's first years as a detective
Critical intrigue. Compelling characters.
A riveting ride through the darkness of Mexico's drug war, where violence buys loyalty, votes are for sale, and the odds are against survival.
Is your soul asleep? History professor and Iraq War vet discover the devil’s secret for stealing souls like yours. “Page-turning” – Kirkus Reviews
- RUSSIAN MOJITO: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 7 35%
- NARCO NOIR: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 8 10%
- GIRL MEETS PARIS: A college memoir in letters 65%
My great-uncle Nicky was the second-to-the-youngest of my grandfather’s five brothers. He was missing most of his right index finger. During WWII, while my grandfather turned out copper ship hulls as a foreman at the Revere Copper and Brass rolling mill,...read more
My most recent book, 43 MISSING: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 6, was inspired by the events of September 2014 when 43 students from a teacher's college in the town of Ayotzinapa, near Acapulco in Mexico's state of Guerrero, disappeared in the nearby town of...read more
Fall is here. Our New Year’s resolutions petered out long ago and the holidays, with overspending and family drama, loom on the horizon. In this season between what-might-have-been and what-will-overwhelm-us-soon, dive into one of these life-changing...read more
Do opposites attract? Meet Jeanine Kitchel, author of WHEELS UP 1) Carmen Amato: Jeanine, we first met as collaborators putting together THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE BEST OF MEXICO and now find ourselves writing two halves of the same story set in Mexico. I...read more
The Killer Nashville International Writer’s Conference was the first of its kind I’ve ever attended. I didn’t know quite what to expect but tried to put my best foot forward: Served on 3 panels (Writing Spies and Espionage, Settings, Witness Reliability),...read more
I'm heading to the Killer Nashville mystery writer's conference, where 43 MISSING, the 6th Detective Emilia Cruz novel, is a finalist for the Silver Falchion award for Best Procedural. The award has multiple categories and many of the finalists are very...read more
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES, the first Department Q novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen, has toppled Jo Nesbo from the top of my Nordic Noir favorites list. And I didn’t even know I wanted to go to Denmark. Some series take a few books before all the pieces are...read more
Bernard Schaffer's new book THE THIEF OF ALL LIGHT is the debut of a tension-filled new police procedural series. This interview first appeared in the Mystery Ahead newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. 1 Carmen Amato: Bernard, thanks...read more
FOOLS AND MORTALS by Bernard Cornwell sets the standard for historical fiction with a touch of suspense and a healthy dose of Shakespeare. But before I gush about how good the book is, let me say that Cornwell is one of my favorite authors....read more
I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat. More