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Shawn Reilly Simmons was born in Indiana, grew up in Florida, and began her professional career in New York City as a sales executive after graduating from the University of Maryland with a BA in English. Since then Shawn has worked as a book store manager, fiction editor, convention organizer, wine consultant and caterer. She has been on the Board of Directors of Malice Domestic since 2003, and is a founding member of The Dames of Detection. Cooking behind the scenes on movie sets perfectly combined two of her great loves, movies and food, and provides the inspiration for her series.  

shawn reilly

SIMMONS

MURDER ON A SILVER PLATTER (#1)

amateur sleuths, culinary cozy, women sleuths

Red Carpet Catering Mysteries

Penelope Sutherland and her Red Carpet Catering company just got their big break on an upcoming blockbuster. But when she discovers a dead body outside her house, Penelope finds herself in hot water. Things start to boil over when serious accidents threaten the lives of the cast and crew. And when the film’s star, who happens to be Penelope’s best friend, is poisoned, the entire production is nearly shut down. Threats and accusations send Penelope out of the frying pan and into the fire as she struggles to keep her company afloat. Before Penelope can dish up dessert, she must find the killer or she’ll be the one served up on a silver platter.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Award Mention Here

“Delivers a buffet of appealing characters, irresistible movie-industry details, and tantalizing plot twists. As delicious as a gourmet meal.”
– Susan O’Brien, Agatha Award-Nominated Author of Finding Sky

MURDER ON THE HALF SHELL (#2)

Filming a movie on a Florida beach may seem like working in paradise, but dealing with a difficult director and a leading lady with an aversion to seafood makes for a challenging task for Penelope Sutherland and Red Carpet Catering. After two girls go missing during a raucous beach party thrown by the movie's director, the cast and crew fall out of favor with the Andrea Island locals. When a flashy celebrity chef is accused of the crime, Penelope Sutherland steps in to help her former culinary school instructor find the truth. Surrounded by suspicious locals, Penelope uncovers clues from the past that reveal an undercurrent of evil amid the magnificent sandy beaches.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“Movie lovers, this is your book!...Engaging and high-spirited...Great fun.”
– Terrie Farley Moran, Agatha Award-Winning Author of Read to Death

MURDER ON A DESIGNER DIET (#3)

Penelope’s life revolves around cooking and keeping her Red Carpet Catering business afloat, and she’s just landed a hearty new job. Just when Penelope thinks life couldn’t be sweeter, a panicked late-night phone call from Max, her best friend’s brother, ends abruptly with shots fired on his end. The next morning, a handsome model and club promoter turns up dead, and when the police serve up Max as their main suspect, Penelope risks it all to prove his innocence (and find him before the police do). With her relationship as sturdy as a soup sandwich and her own life being threatened, it’s up to Penelope to find the truth before anyone else is eighty-sixed.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“This series is so well done that you will feel as though you have just gone to a friend’s house to visit for a few hours.” – The Reading Room

‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍MURDER ‍‍‍IS THE MAIN COURSE (#4)

Penelope and her Red Carpet Catering crew find themselves transported to a different world when they arrive on set in rural Indiana. Surrounded by prickly locals, a nervous director, and a vast forest, Penelope feels homesick for the big city. When she finds their host, owner of a new culinary hotspot, dead of an apparent suicide, Penelope works to uncover the darker truths boiling beneath the surface of his perfect life. Asked to help keep the late chef's restaurant afloat, Penelope is frie‍‍‍d trying to juggle everything. When the suicide turns out to be murder and the restaurant is vandalized, Penelope must find out who is behind it all before she's the next one on the chopping block.  

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“Once in a while an author will come along who has a fresh voice; one who can take a tired gen‍‍‍re and make it seem new again. Such is Ms. Simmons.” – Any Good Book

Award Mention Here

Award Mention Here

Award Mention Here

MURDER ON THE ROCKS (#5)

After surviving a brazen attack at one of her favorite local cafes, Penelope Sutherland is ready to escape the big city and head to her next film set. She and her Red Carpet Catering crew set up their kitchen on location in the tranquil mountains of Vermont. But peace and quiet aren’t on the menu. It starts to get hot when a series of accidents befall the celebrity tennis pro consulting on the film. Then mix in an uptight director, an isolated location, and a quirky bunch of locals with secrets of their own and that’s a recipe for disaster. Penelope soon suspects a connection between the cafe attack and the incidents on set, and you know what comes next. She must uncover the truth before her goose gets cooked.‍‍‍

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“Once in a while an author will come along who has a fresh voice; one who can take a tired genre and make it seem new again. Such is Ms. Simmons.” – Any Good Book

Award Mention Here

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‍‍‍MURDER WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS (#6)‍‍‍

It’s Christmas in the Big Apple and Penelope Sutherland is home for the holidays! She’s looking forward to spending quality time with her loved ones. She’s also catering her first documentary, a history of the Vitrine Theater and the Big Apple Dancers, who put on the world-famous Christmas Extravaganza. Her best friend, Arlena, is the director and granddaughter of one of the show’s famous Snow Queens. But not everyone is in the holiday spirit. When one of the dancers mysteriously disappears then turns up dead right before opening night, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled. The police are at a loss to uncover who has it out for the theater company, so it’s up to Penelope to cook up a plan to find out if the Vitrine is cursed or haunted by its past before the killer can strike again.‍‍‍

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“Once in a while an author will come along who has a fresh voice; one who can take a tired genre and make it seem new again. Such is Ms. Simmons.” – Any Good Book

Award Mention Here