Her opponent’s flailing hand connected with the bridge of her nose and Emilia Cruz Encinos heard the snap before she felt the pain.

Her eyes watered and her muscles screamed as she twisted far enough to protect her face by pushing it into the mat.

Montez was at least 20 kilos heavier than Emilia but he carried too much of it in his middle. She knew he was tired and desperate. They’d each had four fights that day, slowly eliminating the other competitors. It was simple hand-to-hand fighting with few rules except to make the opponent tap the mat in surrender. Montez had opened the fight by trying to pull off her shirt, as had another male competitor earlier in the day. Both had been defeated by a combination of rubbery fabric, her heavy sports bra, and Emilia’s fist.

I’m a beast. A beast. The words circled inside her head. The voice of the referee and the shouts of the other cops in the gymnasium merged into an indistinguishable background roar.


Find out what happens next in your FREE copy of The Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library

You’ll get:

  • The Beast, prequel to the novels
  • The Angler, based on the real life murder of Carmen’s parish priest
  • BONUS! The 1st chapters of 3 Emilia Cruz novels
Send my Starter Library

The Detective Emilia Cruz Series

Emilia Cruz is the first and only female police detective in Acapulco, where the crime rate is up, the mojitos are cold, and the heat is on.

The story is full of non-stop action and suspense, but what really got to me in this book is the wide range of strong emotions I’ve felt with reading it. Carmen Amato knows how to bring Acapulco to life . . . Emilia is definitely a character that is close to my heart.


Consistently exciting . . . A clever Mexican detective tale that will leave readers eager for the series’ next installment.

Kirkus Reviews

From the moment I started the first one, I couldn’t put it down and it wasn’t until right towards the end that I started to suspect the killer. Her work touches on important issues affecting Mexico in a real, human way and is exciting, fast paced and utterly gripping.


The Hidden Light of Mexico City

As presidential elections near, attorney Eddo Cortez Castillo uncovers a political double-cross fueled by drug money and Mexico’s own Minister of Public Security.

Housemaid Luz de Maria Alba Mora dreams of becoming an artist. And leaving Mexico.

Cinderella story, Mexican style.

Amato combines marvelous detail about life in Mexico City with a poignant love story between the most unlikeliest of individuals, all of which is woven seamlessly into an enthralling political drama.

Literary Fiction Review


There’s more mystery ahead


King Peso: A Detective Emilia Cruz novel


Pacific Reaper: A Detective Emilia Cruz novel


Awakening Macbeth, a romantic thriller with a paranormal twist


Girl Meets Paris, a memoir in letters


KING PESO, the 4th Detective Emilia Cruz novel, will be released in Kindle ebook format on 18 August 2016.

The paperback version will be released on 30 August. 

In KING PESO, Acapulco police detective Emilia Cruz is rocked by the murder of the wife of her partner, Franco Silvio. Could the crime be connected to the notorious El Trio killings of three Acapulco law enforcement officers in as many weeks? Was Silvio the intended victim and his wife killed by mistake?

Emilia was the only cop to work with all three El Trio victims.

Her partner would have been the fourth.

It looks like someone’s on a killing spree against Acapulco law enforcement.

But Emilia is shut out of the investigation and reassigned to a new patrol unit championed by Acapulco’s ambitious mayor. Emilia hates the job and the clueless girl in charge. To make matters worse, shady union strongman Victor Obregon Sosa is involved and even provided the unit with its headquarters building. Home is no refuge for Emilia; hotel manager Kurt Rucker is hiding something that’s tearing their relationship apart.

A falsified report leads Emilia to moonlight as a detective and conduct her own quiet investigation into the El Trio murders, only to find a police cover-up and a fifth victim. Meanwhile, her ongoing hunt for a missing girl leads to the El Pharaoh casino, a place she and Silvio know all too well . . .

Corruption and paranoia rule the day and trust holds a very bad hand. Every move Emilia makes is a gamble.

The next spin of the wheel could be her last.

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