“Michael Nava is America’s finest gay mystery writer.” — Anthony Slide, Gay and Lesbian Characters and Themes in Mystery Novels: A Critical Guide

Welcome to my website!

I am the author of a series of crime fiction novels featuring a gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer named Henry Rios, as well as other books, and the founder of Persigo Press.

I also produced the Henry Rios Mysteries Podcast which dramatizes the first novel in the series and is available on this website as well as on I-Tunes, Spotify and other podcast platforms.

Currently Available Books

Carved in Bone: A Henry Rios Novel (Henry Rios Mystery Series)

November 1984. Criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios, fresh out of rehab and picking up the pieces of his life, reluctantly accepts work as an insurance claims investigator and is immediately is assigned to investigate the apparently accidental death of Bill Ryan. Ryan, part of the great gay migration into San Francisco in the 1970s, has died in his flat of carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty gas line, his young lover barely surviving. Rios’s investigation into Ryan’s death–which Rios becomes convinced was no accident–tracks Ryan’s life from his arrival in San Francisco as a terrified 18-year-old to his transformation into a successful businessman. What begins for Rios as the search for the truth about Bill Ryan’s death becomes the search for the meaning of Ryan’s life as the tsunami of AIDS bears down on the gay community.

Carved in Bone, A Henry Rios Mystery by Michael Nava. Set in San Francisco in 1984, Rios, a gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer, fresh out of rehab is trying to put his personal and professional lives together as the tsunami of AIDS crashes down on the gay community.



Carved in Bone: Promotional Video 

Carved in Bone: Reviews

Lay Your Sleeping Head

In the first novel in the Henry Rios series, Rios a burned-out criminal defense lawyer becomes involved with Hugh Paris, the black sheep son of a legendary California family with devastating consequences.










In the fourth Rios novel, Rios returns to his hometown where he defends a pedophile accused of murder and confronts the ghosts of his own past. “Howtown is Nava’s bravest and most ambitious novel to date.” Los Angeles Times.
The Hidden Law

In the fifth Rios novel, Rios is hired to represent a young man accused of murdering a prominent but corrupt Latino politician. “A beautifully conceived but gritty novel.” The San Francisco Chronicle
The Death of Friends

In the sixth Rios novel, the murder of a closeted judge, with whom Rios once had an affair, finds Rios balancing his loyalties between the man’s family and his client, the man accused of killing the judge. “This is a brave, ambitious and highly impressive work.” Publisher’s Weekly.
Street People

Ben Manso drifts through life, working as a rent boy, until a casual encounter with an eight-year-old street kid named Bobby at a convenience store changes everything.
The City of Palaces: A Novel

In the years before the Mexican Revolution, Mexico is ruled by a tiny elite that apes European culture, grows rich from foreign investment, and prizes racial purity.