Places, customs, and dramas that create the setting of a mystery. Calling all explorers.

El Chapo, Soft Power, and Dirty Faces

When I heard that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, notorious head of the Sinaloa Cartel had been arrested, two things came to mind: Monocle, the British magazine about all things cultural, and a great old James Cagney movie. Wait. This will make sense. Soft Power Fiesta...

Finding the Missing in Mexico: New Effort or Whitewash?

In HAT DANCE, the latest Emilia Cruz novel due out later this summer, Acapulco detective Emilia Cruz is on the hunt of a missing local girl. The plot line is straight from the headlines coming out of Mexico. These headlines have reported—but struggled to actually...

Comparing Crime Rates: Acapulco vs Points North

In mid-February, prompted by a spate of news reports on crime for 2012--including a list of the top 10 most violent cities in the world, discussions of violence in Chicago and Detroit, and school closings in Acapulco due to security problems--I posted this picture and...

About the time I went to Fiji

Arriving in Fiji alone at 1:00 am after a 12-hour flight was unnerving but that’s the way the flights went so there I was, in the middle of the Pacific, with a heavy suitcase, an even heavier bag of scuba gear, and reservations for a hotel that was 20 miles away. I’d...

Matching Books with Museums in Mexico City

There you are, strolling through amazing exhibits and you know something’s missing. Like the backstory. Wish you'd known more before going? But there wasn't time. Besides,  researching before going to a museum sounds too much like work. So prep with a little fiction!...

The Case of the Mysterious Immigration Debate

I’m a mystery and thriller author, not a political pundit or a news commentator. My books so far have been set in Mexico, however, and if you think/talk/enjoy things Mexico the US immigration debate is never far behind. From my optic, here’s how the debate is shaping...


I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Subscribe below to the Mystery Ahead newsletter and get the exclusive Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library!



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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

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