Carmen Amato’s Detective Emelia Cruz Series

Carmen Amato’s Detective Emelia Cruz books are like freshly made tortilla chips and salsa – you can’t stop until you finish them” – Ami V

Carmen Amato writes stylish suspense and mystery, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco which has been optioned for television.

Emilia Cruz is the first female detective on the Acapulco police force, confronting Mexico’s drug cartels and legendary government corruption.

Carmen Amato covers

The series so far contains six full length novels, plus a collection of short stories that forms a prequel to the series

Cliff Diver

Book One
Imagine if you were the first and only female police detective in Acapulco. Mexican drug cartels battle for control. Politicians are bought with blood money.
The detective squadroom reeks of machismo.
The lieutenant is a dirty cop who has trapped you into silence.

Hat Dance

Book Two
From the beaches of Punta Diamante to the cliffs of La Quebrada, the city is awash in cartel violence and deadly corruption. Everyone has their price.
Your new lieutenant is a drunk. Your partner once vowed to destroy you. Your lover might leave Acapulco. And then the restaurant you just left blows up.

Diablo Nights

Book Three
The city has it all: beaches, luxe resorts, fabulous shopping. And drug cartel murders.
Bodies are piling up in the morgue.
But some cops are more interested in deals than deaths.

King Peso
Book Four
Mexican drug cartels battle for control and politicians are bought with blood money.
Three cops have been murdered. You worked with them all.
Your partner’s wife is killed in a home invasion. Was he the real target?  Are you the next?

Pacific Reaper

Book Five
Cartels and corruption are everywhere. Life gets cheaper every day.
You discover murder victims sacrificed to Santa Muerte, Mexico’s forbidden saint of death.
Other bodies swing from billboards.
Will you investigate? Or be cursed?

43 Missing

Book Six
43 MISSING is based on the true events of September 2014,when 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College went missing in Iguala, Guerrero and have yet to be found.
Given the choice between resigning from the squadroom in Acapulco or taking a new assignment, Detective Emilia Cruz finds herself on a national task force examining Mexico’s most notorious crime.

Click here to contact us for a review copy of 43 Missing, the latest book in the series

After 18 months and three inconclusive investigations, the task force is the Mexican government’s last attempt to discover what happened to 43 students who disappeared after being seized by police in a small southern city.

Comprised of cops from across Mexico, the task force lacks technical tools, organized case files, and reliable witnesses. It’s a perfect scenario for failure.

Despite its problems, the task force gives Emilia the opportunity to search for the rapist and murderer known as El Acólito, with whom she has an agonizing family tie. Digging into his past life in Mexico City, she’ll learn a shocking truth about the man she’s determined to kill.

As the task force digs up confusing new leads, a diplomat from the United States embassy offers Emilia $50,000 to end the investigation. It’s a tempting offer that would shift Emilia’s hunt for El Acólito into high gear.

But is the diplomat really who he claims to be?

Does it matter?

When the task force heads to the scene of the crime, Emilia knows her loyalty, conscience, and very future will be put to the test.

I have read all of Carmen Amato’s books, loved them all, but i think this book just went to a new level… My new favorite author” – Dorothy Blair

About the Author

Carmen Amato

Originally from New York, Carmen has travelled the globe visiting over 30 countries and went to college in both NY and Paris, France before gaining a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Virginia.

Describing herself as an “historian by training and observer by habit”, Carmen found herself wondering about the extreme variety in the lives she witnessed after moving to Mexico with her husband.  She was struck by the arrogance of wealth alongside abject poverty and the kind hearts that existed despite the corruption.

Her fan-favourite Mystery Ahead newsletter is filled with the pro writing tips and insights that supercharge her novels, as well as mystery reviews and interviews with fellow mystery writers.

My goal is to bring the reader shoulder-to-shoulder with Emilia, hearing her heart pound and helping her calculate the odds of survival.” – Carmen Amato

Connect with Carmen


As a former (female law enforcement officer), retiree, and reader of thrillers and books about crime, I find Carmen Amato’s crime novels to compare and possibly outshine some of the more popular authors of today. Her fresh perspective of a female detective in an all-male law enforcement department is innovative and stimulating.” – Ms Tartine

Don’t forget to contact us to obtain your review copy of 43 Missing