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Carmen Amato Books In Order

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Publication Order of Emilia Cruz Mysteries Books

Cliff Diver (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hat Dance (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Made in Acapulco (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diablo Nights (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
King Peso (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pacific Reaper (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
43 Missing (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Russian Mojito (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feliz Navidad From Acapulco (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Narco Noir (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Listmaker of Acapulco (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Galliano Club Thrillers Books

Road to the Galliano Club (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Galliano Club (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blackmail at the Galliano Club (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Revenge at the Galliano Club (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Hidden Light of Mexico City (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Awakening Macbeth (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Artist/El Artista (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Insider’s Guide to the Best of Mexico (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Insider's Guide to the Best of Mexican Holidays (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carmen Amato
After a thirty year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, Carmen Amato writes suspense, which includes her “Detective Emilia Cruz” police procedural series that is set in Acapulco. Emilia’s the very first female police detective in Acapulco, and she confronts social inequalities, Mexico’s cartels, and corruption. The series won the Poison Cup award for Outstanding Series from Crime Masters of America in 2019 and in 2020.

Carmen is originally from upstate New York, and her experiences in Central America and Mexico launched her fiction writing career. Previously the head of a US national intelligence tradecraft school, she additionally headed up an intelligence collection program with responsibility all across the Western Hemisphere. Carmen’s a recipient of both the Career Intelligence Medal and the National Intelligence Award.

Carmen holds a BA (cum laude) in history and political science from LeMoyne College and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Virginia, along with certificates of completion from Institute Catholique in Paris, France, as well as Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

While writing, she is fairly organized. She typically creates character studies and an outline before she grinds out a rough draft. In order to stay focused she’ll pin details up above her desk, like information about certain characters or lists of names, along with a version of her outline that’s color coded. She puts all the reference materials odds and ends which inspire the book into a craft box. This book-in-a-box system of hers helps her in cutting down on continuity errors and will just save her time hunting for the information she needs when she has spent time away from a draft.

Conceiving her original prose behind a keyboard takes the most mental energy however sometimes, when she knows precisely how she wants the scene to play, it’ll go so rapidly that she’ll feel as though she’s reading something that she’s already written. She’ll still edit it about twenty times before she’s satisfied, obviously.

She’ll write longhand when she is tired or feels uninspired. She’ll use these spiral notebooks with stiff covers. While writing “The Hidden Light of Mexico City”, she taped pesos coins to the covers to give her luck. When she is ready to type up what she’s written longhand, she’ll edit along the way. And obviously, that’ll get edited about twenty times as well.

Carmen has been lucky enough to travel all around the world, collecting the inspiration, characters, and ideas which infuse her books. She has survived three earthquakes (Papua New Guinea, Mexico, and Nicaragua), a persona non grata expulsion (Madagascar), a train derailment (France), and this one scuba diving encounter with a lionfish (just off of the coast of Guam).

She once spoke French just well enough in order to crash a Givenchy fashion show. Spanish came to her later on, albeit with more of a struggle. Now and then she’ll blog about these travels.

She married the most brilliant guy that she could find and it worked out pretty well for each of them. They have two grown kids, of whom they are rather proud, and a series of unruly dogs.

When she’s not drinking coffee, writing, or somehow getting into some sort of trouble as a mystery writer, she is a reluctantly recovering Furla handbag addict. Her favorite black Furla was bought in the Rome airport because there are no seats and so the travelers are forced to shop in the designer boutiques while they’re jazzed on coffee from the standup trattoria. She’s got other similar valid excuses for how all of her other Furlas came to live in her closet, too.

Carmen’s family tree includes a Mensa genius, a mayor, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, which was her great-grandpa, eluded the statewide manhunt after he killed two people. One of which was his wife. He was never brought to justice.

“Cliff Diver” is the first novel of the “Detective Emilia Cruz” series and was released in the year 2013. Imagine if you were the first and the only ever female police detective in all of Acapulco, and investigating crime in a city that is both lethal yet also breathtaking. Mexican drug cartels battle it out for control, and politicians are bought with drug money. The lieutenant is a dirty cop that has got you trapped into staying silent, and the detective squad room stinks of machismo.

Unexpectedly getting put in charge of this investigation after her lieutenant is discovered dead, Emilia Cruz uncovers the sordid sexual past of the lieutenant along with his involvement in this kidnapping and a counterfeit money scheme.

Reputations are threatened by these discoveries, and the truth is for sale. Emilia winds up a pawn in this ugly game of checkmate and corruption being played by Acapulco’s ambitious mayor and the quite powerful police union.

Rival detectives take a shot at her investigation. Their ringleader is one of the prime suspect. Kurt Rucker, a hotel manager, has got some helpful advice for her, however the heat existing between them is much too hot to even handle.

Emilia, while feeling like one of Acapulco’s famous cliff divers hoping she won’t crash on the rocks below, has to pick between survival and the truth. However no matter which choice she goes with, she just won’t be ready for the shock of the water. And neither is the reader.

Cruz is a clever and a feisty detective that combines law enforcement with her innate sense of ethics while leading the investigation into the death of her shady lieutenant. Deeper layers of the plot expose further evidence and get you to second guess the names on your suspect list again and again. How she deals with the outcome of her investigation is a shocking development all on its own and offers the reader quite a lot to think about. There’s some strong characterization, a determined female cop in a tough environment, and a plotline that is believable. Carmen delivers a novel that is a captivating and an adrenaline charged page turner at its very best.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carmen Amato

One Response to “Carmen Amato”

  1. Linda Fsnning: 1 month ago

    I love reading her books.


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