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.
You’ll also get Carmen’s Mystery Ahead newsletter with author interviews, mystery reviews, and book release and sales alerts.
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%
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
RED SPARROW by Jason Matthews is a gripping Cold War espionage thriller in the style of John le Carré’s thrillers. Except longer. SPARROW starts with a heart-pounding and authentic scene of spy tradecraft in Moscow. Nathaniel “Nate” Nash is...read more
The most recent Detective Emilia Cruz novels, PACIFIC REAPER and 43 MISSING, are in contention to win the Reader's Choice award from the prestigious Killer Nashville mystery writer's conference next month. I think PACIFIC REAPER has the best...read more
Dan Petrosini, mystery author and wine afficionado, was featured last month in the Mystery Ahead newsletter. His latest is THE SERENITY MURDER--just the name gives me the shivers. If you like police procedurals as much as I do, here's a replay of our chat....read more
It's the season of change. After years as professional nomads, we finally bought the Dream House. The move to a new state was a 60-day exercise in logistics and determination during which we sold Old House, bought Dream House, packed up, and drove caravan-style for 2...read more
I just finished THE OFFICE, the 17th entry in Mike Faricy's addictive Dev Haskell series and immediately scooped up his Dev Haskell boxed set. The books are like Pringle's chips--you can't read just one. In this chat, which originally appeared in my...read more
Many of the pivotal moments in my life have happened over a good meal. One time, however, the meal wasn’t even cooked. There was a thriving expatriate community in Mexico City when we lived there. Soon after arriving, I met Delia from South Carolina. Her...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