My name is Penelope Sutherland and I’m a chef who works behind the scenes on movie sets. My job is to keep the cast and crew fed while the crew films on location, wherever that location might be. Sometimes we get to borrow a well appointed restaurant kitchen where everything is clean, shiny and stored in its own special place. A lot of the time we’re cooking outside under our tents, with our mobile kitchen/food truck nearby. And sometimes we’re in less than desirable places, like the basement of an old hotel in Lower Manhattan that has been closed down for renovations. This place is creepy and nothing works quite right.
Cooking for movie stars can be challenging, but I’ve got a knack for making people happy with my food. Most of the time I get to work with my best friend and housemate, Arlena Madison. She’s an up-and-coming actress and the daughter of screen legend Randall Madison. Arlena’s been snagging much better roles lately, really building up her acting career after coming close to getting typecast as a “scream queen” in a string of hacky slasher movies. She always puts a good word in for my company, Red Carpet Catering, whenever she gets a new gig. Arlena’s got an A-list boyfriend now, too, and a bunch of half-siblings from various marriages and flings her dad has had over the years.
The one she’s closest to is her half-brother Max Madison. Max is an actor too, currently starring on a popular reality TV show alongside other children of the rich and famous. I’ve watched Max’s show a few times and I can’t tell how much “reality” is involved. He’s got a new girlfriend now, too. They’re together full time on the show, and part time in real life, or maybe I’ve got that backwards. I’ve met Hannah Devore once or twice. She’s a cute girl, but I still can’t work out where their relationship begins and ends in the real world.
Not that it’s any of my business. Until it becomes my business when I get a panicked call from Max in the middle of the night. I’m convinced he’s in trouble and needs help, so I wake up my boyfriend, Detective Joseph Baglioni, and we rush to find him. We don’t find Max, but we do find the worst kind of reality, which is not good for Max if it turns out he had anything to do with the dead body on the floor.
Max lives and works in Manhattan with the other actors on his show. The city is huge and at the same time can be very isolating. It’s easy to get lost, disappear, or just become anonymous. Now Max is missing, and they’re saying he committed murder in a jealous rage over Hannah Devore. I can’t believe he would kill anyone, for any reason, much less over a girl he may not even be seriously involved with. Max has everything going for him and too much to lose.
Whatever happened, I’m determined to figure it out. I just hope I’m not too late.
Murder on a Designer Diet is the third book in the Red Carpet Catering mystery series, published by Henery Press, June 2016.
Penelope’s life revolves around cooking and keeping her Red Carpet Catering business afloat, and she’s just landed a hearty new job for her and her staff. 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.
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About the author
Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of the Red Carpet Catering mysteries published by Henery Press. Murder on a Designer Diet, the third book in the series, was released on June 7, 2016. For more info on Shawn and her books, please visit www.ShawnReillySimmons.com.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Murder on a Designer Diet. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end July 7, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!
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