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.

Emilia and Montez were both slippery with sweat. He arched his body, trying to break her chokehold or shake off the legs wrapped around his. Somehow Emilia managed to crank up the pressure on his throat while keeping his lower half pinned.

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. Keep reading “The Beast,” part of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library


The Detective Emilia Cruz Series

Imagine if you were the first and only female police detective in Acapulco.

Mexico’s culture of machismo will try to break you. Mexico’s drug cartels want to kill you.

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, a romantic thriller

Attorney Eddo Cortez Castillo’s unexpected relationship with housemaid Luz de Maria Alba Mora becomes a dangerous vulnerability when he investigates links between the Minister for Public Security and Mexico’s most elusive drug cartel leader.

As presidential elections near, Eddo uncovers a political double-cross fueled by drug money. The cartel answers with violence, forcing Eddo and Luz to find strength, not only to survive but to defy Mexico’s rigid social structure.

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


PITTSBURGH, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Screenwriter and director Emily Skopov is pleased to announce the acquisition of film and television rights to the Detective Emilia Cruz series by mystery author Carmen Amato. The series, which includes the novels CLIFF DIVER, HAT DANCE, and DIABLO NIGHTS, as well as a collection of short stories, features Emilia Cruz as the first and only female police detective in Acapulco.

Physically tough yet emotionally vulnerable, Cruz must be her own moral compass as police investigations pit her against Mexico’s drug cartel violence, government corruption, and gender bias against a woman in a traditionally male occupation. A relationship with an American man in a high-profile position further complicates Cruz’s life.

“Emilia is a fascinating, multidimensional character with a complex backstory,” says Skopov. “This female-driven crime series, with such an inherently dramatic setting that features glamorous resorts against the local culture of poverty and violence, presents an amazing opportunity for film and episodic television adaptations.” 

Currently working with producers Michael Keyes of Something Kreative, and Zack Stentz (screenwriter “Thor”, “X-Men: First Class”) to set up production on “Three Rivers,” a Pittsburgh-set gritty true-crime thriller co-written with Eddie Richey (“Phoenix“), Skopov is best known for her work on such TV fare as “Xena: Warrior Princess,” SyFy’s “Farscape,” and the indie feature “Novel Romance.”

With iconic Acapulco as the series’ backdrop and plotting that parallels today’s headlines, Skopov believes the Emilia Cruz franchise will attract English-language viewers in the United States and gain a large Spanish-language fan base in both the US and Latin America for the dubbed or sub-titled version. 

For further information, please contact Emily Skopov via her attorney, Robert Getman, Esq. at the Los Angeles firm of Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Austen, Mandelbaum, Morris & Klein. 


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This