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The Mamacita Murders (Gaby Ruiz Mysteries, No. 1) [Kindle Edition]

Debra Mares
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"In her debut crime thriller, The Mamacita Murders, Debra Mares takes us into the heart and soul of sex crimes prosecutor's Gaby Ruiz' gritty and often heartbreaking job. It's a world that the author has experienced up close -- since 2004, Debra has been a county prosecutor in Riverside, CA, assigned to the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit.

Laura, a 17-year-old prostitute, and the key witness in a sex abuse trial, is missing. When she's found in a motel room, brutally attacked and left for dead, the list of suspects isn't pretty -- and sex crimes prosecutor Gaby Ruiz is determined to find out who tried to kill her witness. 

Gaby has dedicated her life to protecting and finding justice for at-risk women. Maybe it's because she can't shake her guilt over not being able to protect her own mother from a violent death at the hands of Gaby's stepfather.

Now it's Gaby who's in danger. Can she find the truth in time to save her own life? 

Here's the setup:

When Laura, a 17-year-old prostitute, is sexually assaulted and left for dead, sex crimes prosecutor Gaby Ruiz is on the case. Laura's not only a victim of attempted murder, she's also the key witness in one of Gaby's trials. Did an assailant connected with Gaby's trial ransack Laura's room and assault her -- did Laura's boyfriend try to kill her because she wanted to leave the Lincoln Gang's prostitution ring -- or did law enforcement try to kill Laura to protect one of their own? The investigation twists from the backwoods in Tuckford County to the back rooms of law enforcement buildings all the way to the Walled City. 

Gaby also runs The Mamacita Club, a haven for at-risk women from her vintage Airstream motor home. Women affected by drugs, gang and domestic violence, sex crimes, and broken homes -- they're all in The Mamacita Club. In fact, Gaby has spent all of her professional life seeking justice for others. But it is not until Laura goes missing, that Gaby is able to start searching for justice for herself and begin to fix her own guilt-ridden past for not protecting her mom from an abusive relationship -- this time to save her own life and seek closure over her own mother's death." (Kindle Nation Daily)

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Product Description

About the Author

Author Debra Mares is the granddaughter of a Mexican migrant farm worker and factory seamstress, was born and raised in Los Angeles, is the first to graduate college in her family, and grew up dancing Ballet Folklorico and Salsa. Debra followed a calling at eleven years old to be an attorney and voice for women and appreciates international travel and culture.  She has been a county prosecutor since 2004 and is assigned to the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit. Debra has prosecuted cases ranging from gang homicides and domestic violence to political corruption and major fraud. She’s twice been awarded top prosecutor of the year. Debra co-founded a woman's organization dedicated to implementing creative intervention and mentorship programs for at-risk young women. The Mamacita Murders is her first novel and first in a series of legal thrillers. For more information about Debra’s novels, visit

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 645 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0985089342
  • Publisher: Justicia House (17 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073GWF2K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #279,044 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Debra is a veteran prosecutor in California, currently handling parole hearings for incarcerated murderers. She has twice been awarded top prosecutor of the year, is the President and Co-Founder of a mentorship organization for at-risk youth, and loves to salsa dance and travel. Visit her at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with interesting characters and plot 10 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Due to time constraints, it took me quite a long time to read this book. My suggestion would be wait for the time when you can read it in two to three long stints, as my problem was I kept having to 'get back into it'. A very good story line, dealing with prostitution, murder and mystery as well as some romance thrown in for good measure, although by no means was this the focus of the story. I learnt quite a lot about the legal system from this book. The lead character was a believable person who really cares about supporting those less fortunate and also has some long standing personal issues to deal with. Overall can highly recommend for a thoroughly good read
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Will appeal more to USA than UK market 10 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was written for the American (possibly even South American ?) market and there was an assumption that the reader would be able to understand the nuances of some of the street language and phrases used. Will appeal more to USA than UK market. This made it quite hard going on times although I stuck with it to the end. There were plenty of twists and turns and quite a twist at the end when the actual murderer was revealed. Understanding and knowing colloquialisms and local street language would have made reading this less of a chore and I had to break it down into chunks of reading to get through it, whereas if a book really grips me I can read it in one sitting.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atrocious writing 10 Jan. 2013
By Julie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this as holiday reading, thinking it might be a bit of light weight entertainment. Ok, it was free, so I can't complain about value!

The writing style and grammar are pretty appalling, and this is a distraction for the reader. It desperately needs proof reading and editing if the author wants to gain any credibility at all.

On top of that, the plot is weak, and seems to simply provide the author with a poorly constructed tool to share her beliefs in angels. Now, I'm happy to suspend disbelief and buy into a fantasy for a good book. But this felt clumsy, like the plot had been added to the angels rather than the angels being something that added to the story.

The murder mystery plots were ok, and had potential, but were obscured by the poor writing and construction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 21 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The basic premise of this book sounded interesting, but it turned out to be a mish-mash of new-age philosophy dressed up as a thriller. The heroine seems far too damaged to be believable in her professional role. The writing is poor in parts; maybe the book is more suited to the American market, but I found it irritating and slow-moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A promising debut but not perfect 22 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Mamacita Murders is an odd book. I downloaded it when it was on free promotion as I enjoy crime thrillers and thought the synopsis sounded intriguing. I notice that the author is a prosecutor herself so I knew the legal side of the book would be good. It was. I love reading about criminal investigations and this one had lots going on for me to puzzle over.

I did not like so much the "fantasy" side of the book. Gaby, the protagonist, gets help solving her cases from her "angels". I felt this was kind of just added in for the sake of something different, as it is not really given enough back story or depth to become convincing to me and spoilt what would otherwise have been a good story. As a plot device it helped move things along I suppose, and I am all for suspending my disbelief in the world of fiction, it just did not particularly ring true for me. I also felt the references to Gaby's love life were not strictly neccesary and that it would have been a much tighter read without such distractions, but that's just me.

Overall it was a good story and a little bit different, and I think this author is well worth keeping an eye on, but I would not say this is the greatest thriller I've ever read, just "quite good".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book flows well and is easy to read, but there is nothing overly memorable about it and it is not a particularly good example of the genre.
There are some strong plot concepts within it; the pin up girl outreach, the Angel reading and spiritualist side, but they never really made it through for me into the kind of strong and alluring story that potentially could have come about from these basic concepts.

I understand that this book is the author's debut crime thriller, and her history as a prosecutor lends some realism and strength to the story that redeems the weaker areas somewhat; I suspect that if the author continues to write, her voice as an author and the strength of her work will increase exponentially, and I will await with interest any future publications.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Marmacita Murders 13 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I first came upon the book I was instantly interested by the plot line, and as I started to read it I enjoyed the complicated journey that gaby faced trying to solve the crime.
I did find the main character annoying half way through the book which began to put me off finishing but I persevered and finished the novel, and I'm glad I did as the ending was not what I was expecting, and the outcome was interesting. However I do think some of it was very confusing and even though the ending was good I find it ended very abruptly. Even after all this I'd recommend it to someone who was interested in crime stories.
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