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Isabella Maldonado Books In Order

Publication Order of Nina Guerrera Books

The Cipher (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Different Dawn (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of A Veranda Cruz Mystery Books

Blood's Echo (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Phoenix Burning (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Blow (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Isabella Maldonado is an American bestselling and award-winning author that is best known for writing mystery thriller and crime series of novels. As a law enforcement expert and retired police captain, she has also been invited to offer commentary on enforcement issues on television channels such as News Channel 12. She made history at her workplace becoming the first person of Latino extraction to become a captain, before she retired having climbed the ranks to become Commander of Forensics and Special Investigations. She was awarded the Lifesaving Award and the Meritorious Service Award. She usually uses her extensive knowledge of law enforcement in the writing of her novels.

While Maldonado was a police officer, she wore many hats that included recruit instructor at the police academy, patrol officer, spokesperson, and hostage negotiator. After attaining excellence in most of the roles assigned to her, she was promoted to patrol sergeant, lieutenant, and finally captain. As captain, she was in charge of a precinct that had more than 150 personnel that included supervisors, patrol officers, civilians, specialty units, and detectives. By the time she decided to leave the police service, she had risen to the rank of Commander of the Forensics and Special Investigations Division that included crime lab, CSI detectives, computer forensics detectives, fingerprint analysis, video, and surveillance specialists, and fingerprint analysts. The biggest highlight of her career was finally graduating from the Quantico FBI National Academy as one of the more than 200 enforcement executives. When she is not writing her novels she can be found spending time with her family that includes chasing around her son.

After Isabella Maldonado retired from the police service as captain, she moved to Phoenix Arizona and it is at this time that she thought she should become an author. She became a member of the Phoenix Metro Sisters in Crime chapter. She had always loved the crime fiction genre and believed that years of police work had given her the material and experience that would come in handy in writing crime fiction. Over five years, Maldonado attended writer’s conferences and workshops and studied a ton of books about authorship and writing craft. As a form of practice before writing a full-length title, she penned three short pieces of fiction that would be published in the Desert Sleuths collection of short stories. In 2015 she was elected Desert Sleuths Sister in Crime president and this was one of the most fulfilling years in her writing career. The chapter grew to more than 120 aspiring authors under her leadership and it was during that year that she got a three-book contract and she was on her way. “Blood’s Echo” which was the debut novel of the “Veranda Cruz” series turned out to be a critically acclaimed novel that won Best First Novel at the Mariposa Awards. “Phoenix Burning,” the second in the series made Book Riot’s Best 25 Suspense Books in 2018 and earned a Publishers Weekly Starred Review. By 2021, she had written five titles in the “Veranda Cruz Mystery” and “Nina Guerrera” series of novels.

“Blood’s Echo” by Isabella Maldonado introduces Veranda Cruz, a detective with the Phoenix Police Division. As one of the best in the division, she has been charged with fighting the cold-blooded Villalobos cartel that controls most of the organized crime in the state. By organizing several successful stings, she has managed to put a serious dent in the operations of the organization. But since she is head of the task force that has disrupted the cartel’s business in Phoenix, she has made some very dangerous enemies. After a drug operation goes haywire, she is suspended by the department as the Professional Standards Bureau investigates to find who bears the most responsibility for the screw-up. In the meantime, Lorena her mother who is the owner of the best Mexican restaurant in the city gets her business burned down by unknown arsonists. Trying to get to the bottom of the arson case, Veranda goes to meet with fire investigator Cole Anderson who works for the Phoenix fire department. Sparks fly when Veranda and Cole team up and go to check out her mother’s burned-out shell of a restaurant. When her department clears her of any responsibility for the drug raid gone wrong she is posted to the homicide squad for the time being. She now teams up with Sam Star, a legendary detective and together they set their eyes on the leader of the Villalobos cartel nicknamed “the wolf,” who it is rumored has put out a hit on Veranda.

Isabella Maldonado’s “Phoenix Burning” follows Veranda Cruz the Phoenix homicide detective as she tries to bring down the leader of the Villalobos cartel. Hector Villalobos and his children Daria, Adolfo, Carlos, and Bartolo have been involved in everything from human trafficking, drug dealing, and arms dealing which has wreaked much havoc in Phoenix. The battle between the Villalobos cartel and Veranda Cruz has turned the city into a warzone. Cruz is determined to take down the Villalobos cartel regardless of what it takes. But when there is a marked increase in violence in the city, Cruz fears that her secretive past may come out and take her down before her enemies in the cartel do. Adolfo is determined to stake his claim as he believes he is qualified enough to run the Villalobos criminal enterprise. He had come up with a plan to destroy Veranda and silence his brothers and in implementing his plan, he had left a trail do destruction that made headlines across the United States. Veranda believes that she can end Adolfo’s reign of terror using the task force she commands. But Adolfo takes control with a highly personal and cruel twist.

“Death Blow” by Isabella Maldonado is the story of how Veranda Cruz confronts one of the most cold-blooded members of the cartel. Cruz is on a mission after Hector Villalobos came after her family and she is now determined to destroy the powerful crime cartel. The lethal, shrewd, and beautiful Daria Villalobos has embarked on her own mission and has vowed to be the first woman to ever be the head of the notorious cartel. She intends to take out Veranda and then frame one of her rivals as the responsible party, thereby killing two birds with one stone. When the investigation goes bad, Veranda is forced to get out and try to find and stop a deranged bomber. She must take on Daria even as she deals with her personal demons and the detractors baying for her blood at the department. She may need to make a pact with the killer to stand a chance of beating her shrewdest adversary yet.

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