Hello. I’m Carmen Amato.

After 30 years as a CIA intelligence officer, I write mysteries and thrillers, including the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz series set in Acapulco.

Expect danger, risk, betrayal, and relationships with heat.

Don't worry. I've got your back.

FEATURED BOOKS

NARCO NOIR

Detective Emilia Cruz Book #8

When a taxi driver is brutally executed on a busy Acapulco street, Emilia goes undercover to catch a gang killer.

But when her worst enemy steps off the curb and into her taxi, she's dragged to a movie set where she'll play the role of a lifetime.

Read for #FREE on KindleUnlimited

RUSSIAN MOJITO

Detective Emilia Cruz Book #7

When kidnappers target her family and a enigmatic guest winds up dead in the city's most luxurious hotel, Acapulco's first female police detective is served a terrifying crime cocktail.

Can Emilia deliver a dose of Mexican justice to a ruthless Russian killer?

Read for #FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

DETECTIVE EMILIA CRUZ BOX SET

"A thrilling series." - National Public Radio

The first 6 books in the Detective Emilia Cruz series are together in a box set for the first time. Includes Bonus Content: Acapulco Sugar, a prequel story and Emilia's Circle, with a riddle for you to solve.

Read for #FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Emilia Cruz Box Set

Get your free Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library

3 volume Starter Library
  • The Beast prequel originally published by The Huffington Post
  • The Angler novella based on a true-life murder
  • Who’s Who Guide to the series

Reviews

"She tells about interesting characters striving to improve their lives in the difficult environment of modern-day Acapulco, rendering a story far richer than the thriller factories of the big publishing houses." - LibraryThing

Amato weaves an intricate assortment of themes into a vivid tapestry that depicts both the beauty and ugliness of Acapulco. Her attention to clothing, food, and other details of the cityscape bring life to her characters. - Kirkus Reviews

"For every clue that falls into place, the price is paid in danger and blood." - author Vee James

"Astounding . . . a haunting page-turner . . . The tragedy of decent members of society caught in the crossfire stayed with me long after I finished the book." - Nightstand Reviews

""Danger and betrayal never more than a few pages away." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

"The story is full of nonstop action and suspense, but what really got to me in this book is the range of strong emotions I've felt while reading it . . . Emilia is a character that is close to my heart." - MysterySequels

"Consistently exciting . . . A clever Mexican detective tale that will leave readers eager for the series' next installment." - Kirkus Reviews

"A brilliant character-driven detective story." - Artisan Book Reviews

"Incredibly absorbing, impossible to put down." - BookVue

"Carmen Amato has created a character that deserves to be recognized as an equal alongside well known favorites created by Hammett, Larson and Padura. I can’t wait to spend more time with Detective Cruz." - Felix Contreras, host, ALTLatino, National Public Radio

"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 . . . Unique and gripping." - OnlineBookClub.org

"Amato spins a taut tale, keeping the reader off balance and guessing just as much as Cruz does. The pace is swift and the action is realistically and unflinchingly portrayed." - Jim Nesbitt, author of the Ed Earl Burch series

 

Current projects

 

  • MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB 95% 95%
  • BLACKMAIL AT THE GALLIANO CLUB 30% 30%
  • REVENGE AT THE GALLIANO CLUB 2% 2%
  • LIAR'S PARADISE: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 9 5% 5%

From the blog

Mexico, Women, Femicide, Fiction

Mexico, Women, Femicide, Fiction

“Women and glass are always in danger.” – Mexican proverb Imagine if Portland, Maine, or Greenville, South Carolina went missing, simply ebbing away like shadows in sunlight over the course of 14 years. The official count of people missing in Mexico since 2006 is...

read more
Countdown to NARCO NOIR

Countdown to NARCO NOIR

NARCO NOIR, Detective Emilia Cruz Book 8 will be released on 16 April! Emilia goes undercover as a taxi driver to catch a killer, but a dangerous detour takes her to a movie set and the choice that will change her life forever. Cover reveal Once again, artist Matt...

read more
Author to Author with Bruce Robert Coffin

Author to Author with Bruce Robert Coffin

I met fellow police procedural author Bruce Coffin at the 2019 Killer Nashville conference, where we both won Silver Falchion awards, and have become an avid fan of his John Byron series. His new book WITHIN PLAIN SIGHT comes out this week. Bruce took a minute to...

read more
Book review: Denise Mina’s Still Midnight

Book review: Denise Mina’s Still Midnight

STILL MIDNIGHT by Denise Mina is the first book in the Alex Morrow detective series set in Glasgow and it’s a stunner. It’s a superb mix of Ian Rankin’s seedy Scotland from the John Rebus novels, Tana French’s angry female protagonist from THE TRESPASSER, and powerful...

read more
This is Day One

This is Day One

Day One is a digital marketing agency. “This is Day One” is written in neon letters on the wall of their New York City office. I love the double entendre. This is Day One is both a “we're here” announcement and a creative mantra. Day One implies a fresh start. A new...

read more
Things in the Mirror are Closer than they Appear

Things in the Mirror are Closer than they Appear

It was a first and I’m still recovering. I live in a fairly friendly town. So when there was a shoutout for women who work from home to meet for coffee, I went. About 20 gals showed up, none of whom I knew. As we were introducing ourselves, one of them said. “I’ve...

read more

Press Releases

Detective Emilia Cruz Box Set Released for Kindle

Detective Emilia Cruz Box Set Released for Kindle

26 May 2020 The first six books in the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco are available as a box set for Kindle entitled DEATH IN ACAPULCO: Detective Emilia Cruz Books 1-6. This box set contains the complete first 6 novels:...

read more
NARCO NOIR, 8th in the Detective Emilia Cruz series

NARCO NOIR, 8th in the Detective Emilia Cruz series

16 May 2020 NARCO NOIR, the 8th installment in the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco by Carmen Amato, is now available in ebook and paperback formats from Laurel & Croton. A bitter past drives Acapulco’s first female police detective...

read more

TOP SECRET(S)

Carmen Amato

A recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal, Carmen is also a survivor of three earthquakes, a train derailment, and a scuba diving encounter with a lionfish. She also owns a legendary vintage Furla bag or two.

 

Acapulco

Here's where all the extra goodies await, like free first chapters, a rogue's gallery of photos, and even my best tips for writing a mystery series. If you are looking for my CIA war stories, check out the #truestory category on the blog. Mojitos not included.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This