I'm Carmen Amato.
I used to work for the CIA, now I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco.
Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.
A thrilling series.NPR
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
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
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 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
THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF
What if a drug cartel conspired to buy Mexico’s presidential elections? As official corruption runs rampant, who will stop them?
Read the standalone novel that Literary Fiction Review called “Enthralling political drama.”
Dive into the first Detective Emilia Cruz mystery for just $0.99! If you like international mystery series by Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, Cara Black, and Louise Penny, you’ll want to meet Emilia Cruz.
She’s the first female police detective in Acapulco. She can take the heat. Can you?
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.
- RUSSIAN MOJITO: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 7 90% 90%
- NARCO NOIR: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 8 12% 12%
From the blog
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A LEGACY OF SPIES is the long sought-after backstory of le Carre’s first bestseller, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (henceforth THE SPY), a slim volume that taught many readers how the Cold War was fought. This week's book review is all about connecting...read more
In Loise Penny's latest Armand Gamache mystery, KINGDOM OF THE BLIND, the Canadian crime fighter has been suspended from his job as head of the Sureté, the top law enforcement agency in Canada’s French-speaking Quebec province. The storyline is a...read more
The first quarter of 2019 has been an exciting time. Two recognitions have come my way, for which I am both surprised and grateful. CrimeMasters of America The Detective Emilia Cruz series won the Poison Cup award from CrimeMasters. I was quite overwhelmed...read more
A KNIFE IN THE FOG and DUST AND SHADOW are both sensational thrillers. The two books have a few things in common, including exceptional historical research, an investigative trio, and a satisfying conclusion, yet each offers an original take on Victorian...read more
My "Simplify" theme for 2019 led to some housekeeping and that in turn led to the discovery of a lost chapter of THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY. Backstory The novel was originally an 800 page (Not. Kidding.) all written from the point of view of the...read more