Mystery Ahead is my every-other-Sunday newsletter.

Let’s dive in.

Every edition gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the Detective Emilia Cruz series as well as my standalone suspense. Sales alerts. Exclusive excerpts. Works-in-progress.

Plus a review of a book I think you’ll love while you wait for Emilia’s next mystery.

As your gift for subscribing, I’ll send you the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library.

She’s the first female police detective in Acapulco.

Find out how she got the job no one wanted her to have.

The Beast (Day 1/today)

Previously published in The Huffington Post’s Fiction50 showcase, The Beast is the definitive prequel to the series.


The Angler (Day 2/tomorrow)

Based on the 2007 true murder of author Carmen Amato’s parish priest. His killer was never found, until now.


Who's Who (Day 3)

Profiles of all of the key characters, including Detective Emilia Cruz, hotel manager Kurt Rucker, senior detective Franco Silvio, and Acapulco mayor Carlota Montoya Perez.


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.


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© 2018 Carmen Amato.



I’m author 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.



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