Get to know Penelope with her answers to my questions.

What is your name?
– –  Penelope Sutherland

How old are you?
– –  I’m in my late twenties.

What is your profession?
– –  I’m chef-owner of Red Carpet Catering. My crew mainly caters behind the scenes on movie sets.

Do you have a significant other?
– –  Yes, my boyfriend and I went to grade school together, and we reconnected recently when he was investigating a murder involving my best friend and roommate, the actress Arlena Madison.

What is his name?
– –  Joseph Baglioni. I call him Joey.

What is his profession?
– –  He’s a police detective in New Jersey.

Any children?
– –  None so far.

Cats, dogs or other pets?
– –  I live with my best friend, Arlena, and she has a Bichpoo that I end up taking care of from time to time. His name is Zazoo.

What town do you live in?
– –  Glendale, New Jersey

Do you rent or own?
– –  My living space in Arlena’s large estate house is provided as part of my job as her personal chef.

House or building complex?
– –  A lovely mansion.

What is your favorite spot in your house?
– –  My well-appointed kitchen, followed closely by the library, where I can curl up on the sofa and watch movies.

Who is your best friend?
– –  Arlena Madison, an up and coming actress, who is also the daughter of acting legend Randall Madison.

Amateur sleuth or professional?
– –  Amateur.

Who do you work with when sleuthing?
– –  I’m always working with my catering crew, as we travel around to different movie sets. Once in a while, my boyfriend Joey helps me out too.

Favorite meal?
– –  I’m a Jersey girl so I’ll have to go with a Trenton Tomato Pie, which instead of a traditional pizza setup, has the tomatoes and sauce on top of the cheese! I like mine covered in crushed organic tomatoes with a little sea salt and dried oregano on top.

Favorite dessert?
– –  We make a lot of Crème Brûlée on the movie sets because it’s a contained portion, we can come up with a variety of flavor profiles, it’s always delicious, and it’s always fun to put a torch to something.

Favorite hobby?
– –  I like to run when I have the time. It keeps me fit after tasting food all day in the kitchen, it clears my head, and presses the reset button on the day.

Favorite vacation spot?
– –  I haven’t taken a vacation since I launched my catering business a couple of years ago. I’ll have to remedy that soon. When I do, it will probably involve a sandy beach on a remote island.

Favorite color?
– –  Green, the color of Joey’s eyes.

Favorite author?
– –  M. F. K. Fisher, author of The Art of Eating, How to Cook a Wolf, and other beautifully written meditations on food and the culinary arts.

Favorite sports team?
– –  I don’t follow any sports in particular, although I’ve recently worked with a friend who is a tennis pro, who consulted on the last film set I worked on.

Movies or Broadway?
– –  I’m a movie fan, which is part of the reason I pursued a career in theatrical catering.

Are you a morning or a night person?
– –  I am up before the sun for work, many days beginning at 4 A.M., getting ready for the rest of the film crew to arrive around 7. But I have to work late nights sometimes too. But generally, I’m a morning person.

In two to three sentences, what is a typical day in your life like?
– –  When I’m working, I’m on a film set at least twelve, sometimes up to eighteen hours a day. My team makes two meals each filming day, typically for about three hundred members of the cast and crew. We go wherever the film goes, which means we cook in all kinds of conditions in all kinds of places. On each movie, I get to know different members of the crew, and sometimes the locals in the town we’re staying for three, four, or six months. I’ve got my dream job as chef-owner of my own company, Red Carpet Catering, and most days things go just great. Once in a while I stumble upon some foul play or bad actors, and I do my best to set things right, because like they say, the show must go on!

You can read more about Penelope in Murder On The Rocks, the fifth book in the “Red Carpeting Catering” mystery series. The first book in the series is Murder on a Silver Platter.

Shawn Reilly Simmons has cooked up something rocky this time, and it’s going to be a delicious read.

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.

This page-turner is serving up the coziest of entertainment, and you do not want to miss it.

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About the author
Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of The Red Carpet Catering Mysteries featuring Penelope Sutherland, an on-set movie caterer, and of several short stories appearing in various anthologies. Her most recent, “Burnt Orange,” appears in Passport to Murder: the 2017 Bouchercon Anthology (Down & Out Books), and “The Prodigy” appears in Mystery Tour, the Crime Writers’ Association Anthology (Orenda Books).

Shawn 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 rep, and movie set caterer.

Shawn serves on the Board of Malice Domestic, is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Crime Writers’ Association in the U.K.

Cooking behind the scenes on movie sets perfectly combined two of her great loves, movies and food, and provides the inspiration for the Red Carpet Catering series, published by Henery Press.

Connect with Shawn at, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

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