About me

coffee drinker, dog mom, occasional nomad

It’s a pleasure to meet you

I’m Carmen Amato, author of romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Mexico. I’m originally from New York but have a rather restless nature. Everywhere I go is an opportunity to learn something new about how a culture shapes and impacts lives. We might marvel at another culture’s food or architecture, but our world is shaped by cultural impacts on decisionmaking.

A few odd facts: My family tree includes a mayor, a Mensa genius, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, my great-grandfather, eluded a state-wide manhunt after killing two people–one of whom was his wife–and was never brought to justice. 

How this fiction gig got started

Several years ago, thanks to my husband’s job, our family moved to Mexico. A historian by training and an observer by habit, I found myself wondering at the varied lives we saw there. Mexico showed me extreme contrasts: arrogant wealth and abject poverty. Corruption and kind hearts. But above all, I was entranced by the country’s rich culture.

Mexico became the impetus for my fiction, starting with romantic suspense novel The Hidden Light of Mexico City, and moving on to the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series. Not all my books take place in Mexico, but the lessons I learned there of what motivates people–greed and power–are themes that run through every story.

You’re invited to walk this writing journey with me via the Mystery Ahead newsletter. As a bonus, I’ll also send you a copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library.

My sidekick

When I’m not writing, drinking coffee, or otherwise getting into trouble as a mystery author, I am a reluctantly recovering Furla handbag addict. Evidence of this situation can be found in this page’s photos of my favorite Furla handbag, purchased in the Rome airport because there are no seats and so travelers are forced to shop in designer boutiques while jazzed on coffee from the standup trattoria. I have similar valid excuses for how the other Furlas came to live in the closet as well.

If you’ve read this far, here’s a bit more about my background and where I come from:

Don’t forget! Sign up for the monthly Mystery Ahead and claim your free copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library!

Spa baby Furla

Spa baby Furla

Lost in Furla

Lost in Furla

No Diving

No Diving

Bus stop Furla

Furla bag

Furla goes to Casco Viejo

© 2016 Carmen Amato.


I'm author Carmen Amato. I write romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.  More

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