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Murder on the Chopping Block–movie set turns violent

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Murder on the Chopping Block

by Shawn Reilly Simmons

Murder on the Chopping BlockThe Red Carpet Catering Mystery Series is always open to new adventures because the main character, Penelope Sutherland, is the owner of a catering company that provides meals and snacks for movie productions. So, Penelope and her crew have to travel to wherever the setting for a film is. In Murder on the Chopping Block, they are in Salacia Beach, California, near Monterey. 

Author Shawn Reilly Simmons really knows how to move a cozy mystery along. She uses fairly short chapters, but they end up making you want to jump into the next one. This book has just the right amount of character focus, intrigue, and action combined with a little romance and settings that range from cliffs along the Pacific to beautiful homes of the wealthy. A fun character in this cozy is Mirabella, a cat with an important role.

When a shot rings out on the movie set, the blood is not fake, and Penelope jumps into action. She also overhears a domestic incident that later leads to violence. She picks up on  a lot of clues that others might miss by being observant when she is in the right place at the right time. When others notice her perceptiveness, however, things get dangerous for her.

I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #7 in the Red Carpet Catering Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone as this plot is not dependent on understanding an extensive character background.

Publication:   September 17, 2019—Henery Press

Memorable Lines:

“Come on, sweetie,” Penelope said in a soft voice. Mirabella stared at her, acting like she wasn’t going to follow, then rose up on stiff legs and strutted toward the gate as if it was her idea in the first place.

“I never even thought about what happens to animals after…” “The unexpected happens,” Brice finished her thought. “You know how it is. A lot of people have pets. Even criminals have pets. When stuff goes down, these guys are impacted too. Kids and animals, they suffer the most, if you ask me.”

“Forgiveness is its own reward,” Joey said. “It’s easier and healthier to forgive than it is to carry around a grudge forever.”


  1. lghiggins says:

    Thanks, Betty.


  2. Cozynookbks says:

    I’m wondering what important role the cat has, Linda. 🤔
    Thanks for reviewing. Sounds delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll give some hints. Mirabella is an escape artist who can twist her way into your heart. I also associate her with the words “blood” and “diamonds.” Hmm! Now you’ll really be wondering!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cozynookbks says:

    Now I AM really wondering!! 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Henery Press has quickly become one of my favorite publishers. Most of their cozy series sound so intriguing. And any cozy that features a cat—much less one with an important role—is always going to go to the top of my list. Great review and quotes!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. carhicks says:

    I really enjoy this series, but am behind a couple of books. You are right, Shawn Reilly Simmons writes wonderful cozies. In fact, Henery Press has some great authors on their roster. Another great review Linda. I need to get caught up.

    Liked by 1 person

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