New Release! MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB

New Release! MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB

New release

MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB is now available in Kindle and paperback editions. The first novel in the Galliano Club thriller series debuted in the Number 2 spot on Amazon’s Italian Literature category. Thank you to so many early readers!

Join bootlegger Benny Rotolo and bartender Luca Lombardo as they battle for control of the Galliano Club, a hangout for Italian men in upstate New York in 1926. Beer is king and trouble is always on tap.

Are you a fan of The Godfather, Road to Perdition, The Untouchables, or Boardwalk Empire? If you love historical fiction featuring Prohibition-era stories of Chicago gangsters, Italian mobsters, and bold bootleggers, you’ll love MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB, as well as ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB, the prequel.

Why historical thrillers?

Many readers have asked why this pivot to historical thrillers after writing mysteries set in contemporary Mexico. The short answer is “pandemic.”

After writing so many books set in Mexico, including the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz police series, the Galliano Club historical thriller series was a real switch for me. But in the midst of the pandemic, writing about cartels and corruption was emotionally tough.

Related post: From New York to Mexico and back again

Turning to family stories–my grandfather was a deputy sheriff during Prohibition–was both a challenge and a labor of love. My hometown of Rome, NY became Lido, NY. I incorporated many of my mother’s fading memories of growing up there. So much love went into this series, which you can read about here.

Seems I traded drug cartels and official corruption for bootleggers, blackmailers, and crooks. Go figure.

Hello, 1926

Get ready for an exciting trip to 1926!

Prohibition was at its height, with beer cooked up in illegal breweries, speedboats hauling liquor from the Bahamas to the East Coast, and Prohibition Bureau agents playing both sides of the law. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett claimed to fly over the North Pole but Charles Lindbergh wouldn’t cross the Atlantic until the next year. The Yankees lost the World Series when Babe Ruth was tagged out trying to steal a base. And that’s just for starters.

The Galliano Club thriller series has it all. Expect authentic details, unforgettable characters, layers of deception, and relationships with heat.

Murder at the Galliano Club

Get it on Amazon

Release Dates for the Galliano Club series

Release Dates for the Galliano Club series

New release dates!

All three full-length novels in the Prohibition-era Galliano Club series are scheduled for release:

20 October 2022: MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB

 

Blackmail at the Galliano Club

19 January 2023: BLACKMAIL AT THE GALLIANO CLUB

 

Revenge at the Galliano Club

16 March 2023: REVENGE AT THE GALLIANO CLUB

 

The gift of historical fiction

When I started in the midst of the pandemic, I didn’t realize where the Galliano Club would lead. Now I’ve met some wonderful historical fiction authors, reignited my love of research,  reconnected to my Italian roots, and learned about my hometown which served as the inspiration for Lido, New York.

Related: Behind the Galliano Club

All because my grandfather told stories from when he was a deputy sheriff during Prohibition . . . and yes, I’ve written him into the series.

The Galliano Club is my first foray into historical fiction but it won’t be the last.

This project has truly been a gift.

While you wait

Road to the Galliano Club cover

The prequel, ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB is out now! Read the backstories of the unforgettable characters of the Galliano Club thrillers: bartender Luca Lombardo, dancer Ruth Cross and bootlegger Benny Rotolo.

From the mean streets of 1920’s Chicago, to a coal town in Pennsylvania, all the way to the a village in southern Italy, three roads converge at the Galliano Club, where trouble is always on tap.

Grab it on Amazon here.

 

New Release! Road to the Galliano Club

New Release! Road to the Galliano Club

ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB, prequel to the Galliano Club historical thriller series, is available now in Kindle and paperback formats.

The Galliano Club historical thriller series has been in the works for over a year, with excerpts doled out in the Mystery Ahead newsletter every other Sunday, so it’s a fantastic feeling to finally share Book 1 with readers! The setting is Lido, New York, a small city in upstate New York, but before the three main characters arrive there, hard luck forces each to strike out on their own.

All journeys end at the Galliano Club, of course, where trouble has just begun.

Road to the Galliano Club

Meet the main characters

RUTH CROSS: After escaping a dead-end Pennsylvania coal mining town, Ruth fulfills her dreams of dancing on Broadway, but is tripped up by a ruined reputation and prison time. Opening a dancing school above the Galliano Club is key to reinventing her life, but can the club be the sanctuary she needs?

LUCA LOMBARDO: From a bitter upbringing in Italy to the heartbreaking death of his wife and child in a New York City tenement, Luca loses everything he’s ever cared about. The Galliano Club is the one exception. It’s the home he never had. Nothing and no one is going to take it away.

BENNY ROTOLO: A member of Chicago’s violent North Side gang, Benny learns how to succeed in the crime business until the day he’s chased out of town by Al Capone. Determined to build his own bootlegging empire, he wants to seize the Galliano Club and turn it into the finest speakeasy north of Manhattan.

The Galliano Club

Galliano Club sketch

The Galliano Club anchors the growing Italian immigrant community in Lido, New York. After long days building America’s skyscrapers, ships, and electrical grid, thirsty mill workers head to the club to play cards, argue over the news, and drink the beer hidden in the cellar. It’s a comfortable place where no one is ready for the coming storm of murder, blackmail, and revenge.

This sketch of the building is a composite of buildings in the historically Italian section of my hometown of Rome, New York. Several bear the name of the owner/builder just below the roofline. V. Spinelli is Vito Spinelli, the owner of the Galliano Club series. He parks his Packard in the alley behind the building.

Vito’s taste for illegal whiskey, to help drown his grief at the loss of his son in World War I, means that all the work falls to Luca.

The door on the right is the club entrance. The door on the left opens directly to stairs leading up. Ruth’s apartment, as well as her school of dance, are on the second floor.

The architecture, similar to the layout of many duplex buildings in upstate New York, plays a role in how a deadly crime plays out in Book 2, MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB.

Research

America’s growing pains during the early 20th century provide a vibrant backdrop for the series. New immigrants file through Ellis Island as George M. Cohan lights up Broadway, Sacco and Vanzetti go on trial, women swoon over Rudolph Valentino’s The Sheik, Chicago gangsters shoot to kill, skyscrapers sprout from cement and sweat, and the first flight over the North Pole is celebrated around the world.

Researching the Galliano series was hugely satisfying. For example, I learned that there’s only 2 degrees of separation between me and Buster Keaton. His two sons were both in the OSS during World War II and I was in the CIA, the successor to the OSS.

There’s a personal connection to legendary Broadway performer, writer, and producer George M. Cohan, too.  I was in the musical George M! about Cohan’s life and still know all the words to Give My Regards to Broadway, so of course his shows launch dancer Ruth Cross on the ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB.

Also I saw Donny Osmond in the revival of Cohan classic Little Johnny Jones but we’ll save that for a rainy day.

Get your copy of ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB today!

historical mystery series Road to the Galliano Club

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New Release! RUSSIAN MOJITO, Detective Emilia Cruz Book 7

New Release! RUSSIAN MOJITO, Detective Emilia Cruz Book 7

IT’S NEW RELEASE DAY!

RUSSIAN MOJITO, Detective Emilia Cruz Book 7 is out now and on sale for Kindle for $0.99!

To promote the book, both PACIFIC REAPER and 43 MISSING are also on sale!

It’s a limited time event, so grab your copies now.

 

RUSSIAN MOJITO is a real crime fiction cocktail! Here’s a bit of the Amazon description:

Driven to the edge by her own secrets, can the first female police detective in Acapulco give Russia a dose of Mexican justice?

Survivor of a deadly cartel ambush, Detective Emilia Cruz returns to Acapulco to recover from the trauma. Before she can catch her breath, however, her penniless stepfather is kidnapped by a ruthless gang.

At the same time, a Russian guest is murdered by a cold-blooded killer in the luxury hotel managed by her boyfriend, Kurt Rucker.

As the kidnappers terrorize Emilia’s family, more Russians are killed in a gun battle that rocks Acapulco. Emilia discovers a strange connection between the triple homicide and fuel thieves robbing Mexico’s underground gas pipelines.

Still coping with the emotional fallout from the ambush and a secret that could end her police detective career, Emilia finds herself on a midnight stakeout, watching and waiting for the fuel thieves. But she’s really on a collision course with the killer . . . And his Russian boss.

To get a sample of the book, click here.

 

National Public Radio — “A thrilling series”
CrimeMasters of America — Poison Cup award, Outstanding Series 

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CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.

 

New Release! PACIFIC REAPER, the New Detective Emilia Cruz Novel

New Release! PACIFIC REAPER, the New Detective Emilia Cruz Novel

New release!

Detective Emilia Cruz goes up against the cult of Santa Muerte, Mexico’s forbidden saint of death in PACIFIC REAPER, the 5th novel in the series set in Acapulco.

Without giving anything away, early reviews say REAPER is the most powerful Emilia Cruz mystery yet. But you be the judge. Get REAPER on Amazon and please remember to leave a review.

In case you missed the run-up to REAPER, check out some background on the cult of Santa Muerte and read Chapter 1 for free:

When Detective Emilia Cruz Meets Santa Muerte

Background to PACIFIC REAPER

PACIFIC REAPER, Chapter 1

Thanks to great readers like you, PACIFIC REAPER debuted on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for the International Mystery and Crime category next to some of the genre’s heaviest hitters. Matt Chase’s stellar cover art held its own next to the likes of Jo Nesbo’s THE THIRST.

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CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.

 

NEW RELEASE! Romantic Thriller with a #Paranormal Twist

NEW RELEASE! Romantic Thriller with a #Paranormal Twist

AWAKENING MACBETH is out now for kindle readers, with the paperback coming 10 January! It’s a romantic suspense thriller with a paranormal twist set in Charlottesville, Virginia and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Related: Read the first chapter of AWAKENING MACBETH here

All about timing

For those who know me best for the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco, AWAKENING MACBETH is quite a departure. I actually developed the premise after writing romantic thriller THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY, but before penning CLIFF DIVER, the first Emilia Cruz novel.

AWAKENING MACBETH sat in a drawer for several years, as I thought the best way to introduce readers to my writing was through a mystery series. After KING PESO, the fourth Emilia Cruz novel, was released last August, I felt the time was right to bring out a second romantic thriller.

The premise of AWAKENING MACBETH is that when brokenhearted, the soul wanders in search of answers. That restlessness takes place in dreams, where evil stalks in search of souls to steal . . .

The setting

I attended graduate school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. I fell in love with the school’s traditions and ties to Thomas Jefferson, who founded the University. The main character of AWAKENING MACBETH is Dr. Brodie Macbeth, a history professor at the University of Virginia who is a popular academic and author–as well as former college basketball star. She’s successful, but her life has been narrowly defined for many years and she’s very emotionally reserved; the result of a strict upbringing by her father, a noted historian and the head of her department at the university.

Video courtesy WeekendBlitz

The framework of Brodie’s life is blown to smithereens when her father unexpectedly kills himself hours before giving a guest lecture at Harvard. Brodie is left with a very strange inheritance and a million questions. That’s when the nightmares begin. In her sleep, someone with diseased eyes threatens to murder her unless she tells her father’s secret.

There is no secret. But the dreams are so terrifying Brodie is convinced she could die.

On a trip to Scotland to visit her father’s sister, Brodie meets Joe Birnam, a decorated Iraq war vet. I can’t tell you anything more than that, except that their first date takes place at a golf resort outside Edinburgh. We stayed at such a place years ago. The rolling hills and uncoiling mist made for striking memories which I’ve tried to caputre in the book.

St. Andrews golf resort, courtesy of the Travel Channel

St. Andrews golf resort, courtesy of the Travel Channel

Edinburgh itself is a magical place and it is no wonder that J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, makes her home there. The city is full of turrets and tiny alleys, heroes and history. Anyone with an ounce of creativity can’t help but feel the imagination’s tug.

Scott Monument, Edinburgh

Photograph taken by Michael Reeve, 15 September 2003. Released under GFDL by the artist.

Key questions

Readers are already asking about the unusual premise for the book:

Where did the idea for this book come from?
My grandmother always said never wake a sleeping child too fast because the soul wanders while we sleep and needs time to return before we’re fully awake. When I combined my grandmother’s words with the saying that the eyes are the windows of the soul, the result gave me chills. I knew it would be a great story.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest thing was the concept of real evil able to threaten the immortal soul. I hate movies like The Exorcist and had to stop writing several times, too shaken to go on. But evil is out there and this is my interpretation of it.
 
What draws you to this genre?
Love and mystery are the perfect combo. Each needs a bit of the other in a book, just like in real life. Romantic thrillers build a relationship, then test it. Can it hold up in a storm? The more exciting the storm, the better.

If you would be so kind

If you love a good romantic suspense tale, or are intrigued by the fight against evil as depicted in the book, I hope you’ll download a copy of AWAKENING MACBETH and stay up all night reading it!

Remember to leave a review on Amazon. You’ll not only help out this author, but help others make intelligence choices about what to read next. Thank you!

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CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.

 

Exclusive! First chapter of KING PESO

Exclusive! First chapter of KING PESO

The countdown to KING PESO is officially on!

The 4th Detective Emilia Cruz novel will be released for Kindle on 18 August and in paperback on 30 August.

While you wait to see just how hot it can get in Acapulco, read the first chapter.

In KING PESO, Acapulco is rocked by the execution-style murders of three law enforcement officers in as many weeks. When her partner Franco Silvio’s wife is killed, it’s obvious to Emilia that the murders are connected and she could be the cop killer’s next target.

She’s gambling on a task force to investigate but Emilia is reassigned instead. Her new police unit is a political time bomb championed by Acapulco’s ambitious mayor and overseen by shady union strongman Victor Obregon Sosa. Home is no refuge for Emilia; hotel manager Kurt Rucker has a shocking secret that could tear their relationship apart.

It’s just another day in paradise, where  Mexican drug cartels battle for control and politicians are bought with blood money. For Emilia, every spin of the wheel could be her last.

Check out the Detective Emilia Cruz series page or get a free copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library!

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CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.

 

Exclusive! First chapter of KING PESO

Countdown to KING PESO, the 4th Detective Emilia Cruz novel

KING PESO, the 4th Detective Emilia Cruz novel, is all about gambling and greed.

The high cost of building family and friends. How easy it is to tear them both apart.

In KING PESO, Emilia is shocked by the murder partner Franco Silvio’s wife, as Acapulco reels from the mysterious executions of 3 law enforcement officers in as many weeks. The entire city wants to find the nfamous El Trio killier. Despite the crisis, the chief of police plucks Emilia out of the detective squadroom and reassigns her to a new patrol unit.

Emilia hates the job and the clueless girl in charge. To make matters worse, shady union strongman Victor Obregon Sosa is involved and even provided the unit with its headquarters building.

A falsified report leads Emilia to moonlight as a detective and conduct her own quiet investigation into the El Trio murders, only to find a police cover-up and a fifth victim whose death can only be a direct message from the killer to her. Meanwhile, Emilia’s ongoing hunt for a missing girl leads to the El Pharaoh casino, a place she and Silvio know all too well . . .

Soon, every move Emilia makes is a gamble and the next spin of the wheel could be her last.

Even as she puts her life on the line to discover the truth, Emilia stumbles upon a shocking secret about hotel manager Kurt Rucker. How could she have been so blind?

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CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.

 

Carmen Amato at Spring Hill

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