award-winning mystery


"Danger and betrayal never more than a few pages away." - Kirkus Reviews

"A thrilling series." - National Public Radio

"A fresh, character-driven approach to crime writing." - Frogs for Snakes

"Non-stop action and suspense." - Mystery Sequels

"Incredibly absorbing, impossible to put down." BookVue



The Listmaker of Acapulco novella


A Kindle Single novella

A secret list and a nine-fingered body drive Acapulco’s first female police detective to the edge in this exciting companion to the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series.

Emilia stops a gang attack in an upscale neighborhood, only to become mired in a case full of false identities and criminal intrigue. Does a would-be killer’s black notebook contain a list of dirty cops? Why does one of the dead attackers have the grafted finger of another man?

More importantly, why is her police career suddenly hanging by a thread?

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Detective Emilia Cruz Mystery Series

Emilia Cruz is the first female police detective in Acapulco. If the drug cartels don’t get her, another cop will.

Poison Cup award for Outstanding Series, 2019 & 2020, CrimeMasters of America; Silver Falchion Award for Story/Collection, 2019, Killer Nashville

Emilia investigates the death of a dirty cop in the explosive series debut.

As Acapulco burns, Emilia hunts for a violent arsonist and a missing girl in Book 2.

A religious relic, a cruise ship murder, and a rookie cop put Emilia’s life in danger in Book 3.

Emilia gambles it all to save her partner from a serial killer targeting cops in Book 4.

Emilia goes undercover as a devotee of Santa Muerte, Mexico’s forbidden saint, in Book 5.

Based on a true crime, Emilia grapples with a shocking mass kidnapping in Book 6.

Russian Mojito cover

Can Emilia deliver a dose of Mexican justice to a Russian killer in Book 7?

Narco Noir by Carmen Amato

Emilia plays both a taxi driver and a movie star in the undercover role of a lifetime in Book 8.

Detective Emilia Cruz Short Reads

This prequel collection of short stories captures Emilia’s first years as a detective.

Feliz Navidad from Acapulco

Emilia and her partner go undercover in this very unexpected Christmas murder mystery novella.

The Listmaker of Acapulco

A black notebook and a man with nine fingers draw Emilia into a maze of mistaken identities and gang rivals

Standalone Thrillers

Expect Carmen’s signature blend of complex mystery, layers of deception, and high-wire action.

The Artist

A drug cartel is poised to buy Mexico’s presidency and only one man stands in the way.

Awakening Macbeth paranormal thriller

Romantic suspense with a supernatural twist pits a college professor and an Iraq War vet against eternal evil.

Galliano Club Thriller Series — coming soon

In 1926, it’s hard to get a beer, thanks to Prohibition. But in Lido, New York, there’s plenty of secrets, lies, and murder on tap at the Galliano Club.

Based on tales told by Carmen’s late grandfather, a former Deputy Sheriff of Oneida County, NY.

The Artist

A dead body behind the Galliano Club sets off a chain reaction of crime and deception in this Prohibition-era thriller based on Carmen’s home town.

Blackmail at the Galliano Club

Barman Luca Lombardo and dancer Ruth Cross are caught in a web of blackmail ensnaring everyone connected to the Galliano Club.

Revenge at the Galliano Club

Hanna Gorski is determined to discover who murdered her sister and deliver her own brand of justice. The Galliano Club will never be the same.


Current projects


  • LIAR'S PARADISE: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 9 10% 10%


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