The Detective Emilia Cruz Mystery Series: Character Bios

The characters in the Emilia Cruz mystery series are complex and true-to-life.

Emilia Cruz, the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force, is the leading lady in the series. She is joined by a cast you’ll cheer for, wonder at, love to hate, and so much more.


  • Emilia Cruz Encinos: An Acapulco native forced to grow up too fast, Emilia Cruz has been a cop for nearly 12 years and a detective for two; a strong Latina woman in a squadroom that didn’t want her and is still trying to break her. But Emilia isn’t afraid to defend herself and get what she’s rightfully earned. She’s a good liar, a fast thinker, a determined investigator and a mean kickboxer.She knows that many women in Mexico don’t get the chances she’s had and the proof is in a log she tracks of women who have gone missing. Her dedication has been all-consuming, leaving her little time for love.

More about Emilia: 3 Latinas Who Inspired Fiction’s Newest Crimefighter and An Excellent Liar

  • Kurt Rucker: A native of New York who grew up on a farm, Kurt is a quietly confident man who enlisted in the US Marine Corps, went to war, and then went to college where he “studied hotel and restaurant management so I’d never have to go back to that farm.” He manages Acapulco’s most luxurious hotel, serves on the prestigious Acapulco Hotel Association board, and speaks fluent Spanish. Kurt moves easily in any environment, from Emilia’s uncle’s garage in a poor neighborhood to the mayor’s boardroom. A competitive triathlete, he is very different from any other man Emilia knows. Kurt cares deeply about Emilia but he’s no pushover; when her emotional distance and tendancy to hide the truth hurts their relationship he lets her know.
  • Victor Obregon Sosa: The head of the police union in the state of Guerrero, Obregon rules police resources in Acapulco and the rest of the state with an iron hand. He likes power and likes to show that he has it. Dark good looks, obvious muscle, and black clothing are all part of the Obregon brand. Sex with him is always on offer. Emilia knows it would be wild, brief, and imminently regrettable.

More about Obregon: How Mexico’s Union Boss “La Maestra” Inspired a Mystery

  • Franco Silvio: Acapulco’s senior detective is a former heavyweight boxer with hooded eyes, a perpetual scowl, and a gray crew cut. He runs a gambling ring on the side in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. His partner was killed a few years ago and Silvio was briefly suspended after a clumsy inquiry. Rumors still circulate and are easy to believe. Silvio inspires fear and Emilia isn’t totally immune. He believes that women can’t cut it as detectives and have no place in the squadroom, making him Emilia’s most powerful enemy. Until he becomes her partner, that is.
  • Ricardo Portillo: Emilia’s first partner is a good-natured, portly detective who was the only one who volunteered to take her on as a partner when Emilia made detective in “The Beast” short story. He is protective toward her and resentful when she doesn’t seem to need him. Twice divorced, his natural humor always reasserts itself and Emilia knows he is a decent man at heart. He usually manages to balance the fact that Emilia is his partner with the other detectives who opposed a woman joining their ranks.Rico and Emilia are teamed in all the prequel short stories, including The Beast and the Angler.

More about Rico: What if Your Dream Job Depended on This Man?

  • Carlota Montoya Perez: Acapulco’s mayor is beautiful, ambitious, and controlling. She is the most exciting politician in the state of Guerrero. She is determined to revive tourism in Acapulco and make it a major world conference center. To that end she’ll gloss over anything she thinks will make the city look bad. Oh, and she wants Acapulco to host a summer Olympics. Her relationship with Obregon is a bit of a mystery but likely one of mutual manipulation.
  • Sophia Encinos: Emilia’s mother suffered a breakdown when Emilia’s father died years ago and has never recovered. To her, Emilia is still a school girl and her father may come home at any moment. Sophia’s vagueness means that Emilia has had to be the parent and decision maker. But now and then, Sophia can still teach her daughter a lesson.


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King Peso by Carmen Amato

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