Carmen Amato turns lessons from a 30-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency into crime fiction loaded with danger and deception.

The Detective Emilia Cruz series pits the first female police detective in Acapulco against Mexico's drug cartels, corruption, and social inequality. Dubbed “A thrilling series” by National Public Radio, the series was awarded the Poison Cup Award for Outstanding Series from CrimeMasters of America in both 2019 and 2020 and has been optioned for television.

Her Galliano Club historical thriller series was inspired by the stories told by her grandfather who was a deputy sheriff during Prohibition.

Originally from upstate New York, Carmen was educated there as well as in Virginia and Paris, France, while experiences in Mexico and Central America ignited her writing career.

She is a recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal.

Every other Sunday, Carmen’s Mystery Ahead newsletter unlocks her top secrets with exclusive announcements, sneak peeks at her next book and reviews of must-read mysteries.