Carmen Amato

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Carmen Amato

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in The United States
December 05

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October 2012

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I'm the author of romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco. She's the first female police detective in Acapulco and the series has been optioned for television by a major US network.

I love to travel and Mexico and Central America provided the impetus for my writing career. My books live at the tangled intersection of risk, power, and corruption.

Every month, I share the Mystery Ahead newsletter with thousands of mystery readers and writers. Together we explore what makes for a compelling mystery with writing protips, author and publishing insider interviews, books reviews, and Q&A from the Mystery Ahead mailbag.

Visit my website at http://carmenamato.net to get a free copy of the Detective Emilia C
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Popular Answered Questions

Carmen Amato Hi Jason, and thanks for asking. My biggest struggles come from taking on too many projects at the same time. I get caught up in anthology projects…moreHi Jason, and thanks for asking. My biggest struggles come from taking on too many projects at the same time. I get caught up in anthology projects with author friends, experimenting with the latest app, writing blog posts, etc etc that I leave my characters hanging. The best way for me to get back to them is to 1) have a writing buddy hold me accountable, 2) always write from an outline so I always know what to write next, and 3) put that outline and my long term goals on a big poster and hang in up over my desk. Hard to ignore goals when they are huge and on the wall. Good luck, hope you get some great inspiration from all the answers to your question. (less)
Carmen Amato Hi John. No, Carmen is not a pseudonym but is my legal name. As for using one, it is perfectly acceptable to use a pen name. There could be legal…moreHi John. No, Carmen is not a pseudonym but is my legal name. As for using one, it is perfectly acceptable to use a pen name. There could be legal consideration such as copyright ownership, contracts, etc, so a consult with an intellectual property rights attorney might be useful.(less)
Average rating: 4.2 · 967 ratings · 206 reviews · 16 distinct works
Cliff Diver (Emilia Cruz My...

4.10 avg rating — 323 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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King Peso (Emilia Cruz Myst...

4.23 avg rating — 200 ratings2 editions
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Diablo Nights (Emilia Cruz ...

4.13 avg rating — 146 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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Hat Dance (Emilia Cruz Myst...

4.20 avg rating — 101 ratings5 editions
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Pacific Reaper (Emilia Cruz...

4.61 avg rating — 41 ratings3 editions
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The Hidden Light of Mexico ...

4.24 avg rating — 45 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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43 Missing (Detective Emili...

4.57 avg rating — 35 ratings
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Made in Acapulco

4.21 avg rating — 38 ratings3 editions
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Awakening Macbeth

4.35 avg rating — 20 ratings4 editions
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The Insider’s Guide to the ...

4.42 avg rating — 12 ratings
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More books by Carmen Amato…














Canadian mystery author Sandra Nikolai writes the excellent Megan Scott/Michael Elliott series featuring a ghostwriter and an investigative journalist. Sandra and I have watched each other’s series grow book-by-book, while indulging in a shared love of chocolate almonds.


1. Carmen Amato: Sandra, thanks so much for stopping by. Your series set in Canada drew me in from the start because it was d...

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Published on March 16, 2018 11:05 • 7 views
Cliff Diver Hat Dance Diablo Nights King Peso Pacific Reaper 43 Missing
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HAT DANCE: An Emilia Cruz Novel (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:38PM
Description: In the 2nd Detective Emilia Cruz mystery, the first and only female police detective in Acapulco must race the clock to find a violent arsonist as well as a missing girl from her own neighborhood.
DIABLO NIGHTS: An Emilia Cruz Novel (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:38PM
Description: In the 3rd Detective Emilia Cruz mystery, the first and only female police detective in Acapulco follows the grusome trail of a religious relic into the heart of a drug smuggling ring.
CLIFF DIVER: An Emilia Cruz Novel (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:34PM
Description: CLIFF DIVER is the first Emilia Cruz novel in the new mystery series set in Acapulco. Emilia, the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force, has no choice but to take on a case that reeks of corruption. She knows that the shadow of counterfeit ransom money stalks the blood-spattered crime scene. No witnesses but plenty of people with motive. As she pieces together the victim’s last hours, Emilia becomes a pawn in an ugly game of corruption, money, and power being played by city politicians, the powerful police union, and her fellow detectives. Emilia will follow her instincts but will she survive if she uncovers the truth?

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43 Missing by Carmen Amato
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The Right Wrong Number by Jim Nesbitt
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Ed Earl Burch is a not-quite washed up Texas cop turned PI with a notch collection on his bedpost and bad knees. In debt to a shyster, he takes a job to find out what happened to an old girlfriend’s husband. Not surprisingly trouble ensues, wrapped i ...more
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The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carré
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" Skye wrote: "I have one of her books; it sounds like you liked both the books and series."
They are excellent. Cleeves has a way of making the reader s
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Carmen Amato made a comment in the group Share your Blogs!Latest blog posts topic
" "2 Tickets to venice" in which I look at novels set in Venice by Donna Leon and Martin Cruz Smith: http://carmenamato.net/book-review-ve... Enjoy with ...more "
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A Clean Sweep by Audrey   Davis
A Clean Sweep
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52 year old Emily is a widow living an upper middle-class life in a desirable London neighborhood. Her circle revolves around her book club. Nobody expected the man of her dreams to be half her age.
This is a charming slice of life in modern London.
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More of Carmen's books…
“Luz leaned her head against the window. The bus was already on the outskirts of Mexico City and the endless urban landscape had never seemed so gray and or so harsh. Most of the city was nothing like the old money enclave of Lomas Virreyes where the Vegas lived or Polanco where the city’s most expensive restaurants and clubs catered to the wealthy.
The bus passed block after block of sooty concrete cut into houses and shops and shanties and parking garages and mercados and schools and more shanties where people lived surrounded by hulks of old cars and plastic things no one bothered to throw away. Sometimes there wasn’t concrete for homes, just sheets of corrugated metal and big pieces of cardboard that would last until the next rainy season. It was the detritus of millions upon millions of people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do and were angry about it.
The Reforma newspaper had reported a few weeks ago that the city’s population was in excess of 28 million--more than 25 percent of the country’s entire population--and Luz believed it. All of those people were clawing at each other in a huge fishbowl suspended 7500 feet above sea level, where there was never enough oxygen and the air was thin and dirty.
The city was hemmed in by mountains on all sides; mountains like Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl that sometimes spewed smoke and ash and prevented the contaminatión from cars and factories and sewers from escaping. Luz privately thought of it as la sopa--a white soup that often blotted out the stars and prevented the night sky from getting dark.
The bus slowed in traffic. As they crept along Luz saw a car stopped on the side of the road, pulled over by a transito traffic cop. As Luz watched, the driver handed the cop a peso bill from his wallet. The transito accepted it but kept talking, gesturing at the car. The motorist handed him another bill. La mordida--the bite--of the traffic cop, right under her nose.
Los Hierros was crap.”
Carmen Amato, The Hidden Light of Mexico City

“Emilia typed in her password and checked her inbox. A review by the Secretariat de Gobernación of drug cartel activities across Mexico. A report of a robbery in Acapulco’s poorest barrio neighborhood that would probably never be investigated. Notice of a reward for a child kidnapped in Ixtapa who was almost certainly dead by now.
Her phone rang. It was the desk sergeant saying that a Señor Rooker wished to see her. Emilia avoided Rico’s eye as she said, yes, the sergeant could let el señor pass into the detectives’ area.
A minute later Rucker was standing by her desk, sweat beaded on his forehead. The starched collar of his shirt was damp.
“There’s a head,” he said breathlessly. “Someone’s head in a bucket on the hood of my car.”
Carmen Amato, Made in Acapulco

“That’s when he’d run and run until he was nothing more than two feet and a pair of lungs, until he coughed blood and stank of sweat and forgot for an hour or two everything that he was and what he had to do and the people who’d get hurt along the way.”
Carmen Amato, The Hidden Light of Mexico City

Polls

October/November 2014 Group Read. Voting time is October 9th through the 14th.

 
  27 votes 11.8%

 
  23 votes 10.1%

 
  21 votes 9.2%

 
  16 votes 7.0%

 
  16 votes 7.0%

 
  12 votes 5.3%

 
  11 votes 4.8%

 
  10 votes 4.4%

 
  10 votes 4.4%

 
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  10 votes 4.4%

 
  9 votes 3.9%

 
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  6 votes 2.6%

 
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  4 votes 1.8%

 
  3 votes 1.3%

 
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228 total votes
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“That’s when he’d run and run until he was nothing more than two feet and a pair of lungs, until he coughed blood and stank of sweat and forgot for an hour or two everything that he was and what he had to do and the people who’d get hurt along the way.”
Carmen Amato, The Hidden Light of Mexico City

“Luz leaned her head against the window. The bus was already on the outskirts of Mexico City and the endless urban landscape had never seemed so gray and or so harsh. Most of the city was nothing like the old money enclave of Lomas Virreyes where the Vegas lived or Polanco where the city’s most expensive restaurants and clubs catered to the wealthy.
The bus passed block after block of sooty concrete cut into houses and shops and shanties and parking garages and mercados and schools and more shanties where people lived surrounded by hulks of old cars and plastic things no one bothered to throw away. Sometimes there wasn’t concrete for homes, just sheets of corrugated metal and big pieces of cardboard that would last until the next rainy season. It was the detritus of millions upon millions of people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do and were angry about it.
The Reforma newspaper had reported a few weeks ago that the city’s population was in excess of 28 million--more than 25 percent of the country’s entire population--and Luz believed it. All of those people were clawing at each other in a huge fishbowl suspended 7500 feet above sea level, where there was never enough oxygen and the air was thin and dirty.
The city was hemmed in by mountains on all sides; mountains like Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl that sometimes spewed smoke and ash and prevented the contaminatión from cars and factories and sewers from escaping. Luz privately thought of it as la sopa--a white soup that often blotted out the stars and prevented the night sky from getting dark.
The bus slowed in traffic. As they crept along Luz saw a car stopped on the side of the road, pulled over by a transito traffic cop. As Luz watched, the driver handed the cop a peso bill from his wallet. The transito accepted it but kept talking, gesturing at the car. The motorist handed him another bill. La mordida--the bite--of the traffic cop, right under her nose.
Los Hierros was crap.”
Carmen Amato, The Hidden Light of Mexico City

“Emilia typed in her password and checked her inbox. A review by the Secretariat de Gobernación of drug cartel activities across Mexico. A report of a robbery in Acapulco’s poorest barrio neighborhood that would probably never be investigated. Notice of a reward for a child kidnapped in Ixtapa who was almost certainly dead by now.
Her phone rang. It was the desk sergeant saying that a Señor Rooker wished to see her. Emilia avoided Rico’s eye as she said, yes, the sergeant could let el señor pass into the detectives’ area.
A minute later Rucker was standing by her desk, sweat beaded on his forehead. The starched collar of his shirt was damp.
“There’s a head,” he said breathlessly. “Someone’s head in a bucket on the hood of my car.”
Carmen Amato, Made in Acapulco

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Comments (showing 1-4)    post a comment »
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Cheryl Landmark Thanks for the friend request, Carmen.


message 3: by Dale

Dale Thele Carmen, thank you for accepting my friend request. Wishing all the best in 2014!


Carmen Amato Your crime fiction book sounds noir and engrossing! What led you to set it in Mexico?


message 1: by Brian

Brian Benson I have Cliff Diver & Hidden Light in my Kindle Library, and hope to begin them soon. I have like 40,000 words to a manuscript finished about a serial killer from Mexico (El Alacran). I hope to have it finished this fall. Part of the story takes place in Puebla, Cuernavaca, and Mexico City.


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