Michael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of eight novels featuring gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios who The New Yorker, called “a detective unlike any previous protagonist in American noir.” The New York Times Book Review has called Nava “one of our best” writers. His first new Rios novel in 20 years, Carved in Bone, was released by Persigo Press on October 1, 2019. Set in San Francisco in 1984, Kirkus praised the book for its “refreshing emotional depth and a gay narrative seldom seen in thrillers.” Publisher’s Weekly said of the novel: “An authentic portrait of [San Francisco] in the early days of the AIDS crisis complements a satisfying mystery.”
He is the writer/producer of the Henry Rios Mysteries Podcast which adapted the first Rios novel, Lay Your Sleeping Head into an 18-episode audio drama available on I-tunes, Spotify and other podcast platforms. In 2019, he founded Persigo Press, through which he hopes to publish LGBTQ writers and writers of color who write genre fiction that combines fidelity to the conventions of their genre with exceptional literary merit.
Michael Nava graduated from Stanford Law School in 1981 and had a distinguished legal career. He began his career in Los Angeles as a prosecutor, was in private appellate practice and then, for many years, served as a judicial attorney for the California Supreme Court. Among his positions at the court, he worked on the staff of retired Justice Carlos Moreno. In his final years at the court, he handled death penalty appeals and habeas corpus petitions. He was also active for many years in efforts to diversify the legal profession and the judiciary by increasing representation of minority and LGBTQ lawyers and judges. He retired from the law in 2016.
He is also the author of an award-winning historical novel, The City of Palaces, set at the beginning of the 1910 Mexican revolution.
He divides his time between San Francisco and Palm Springs.