Murder on a Silver Platter

Murder on a Silver Platter

by Shawn Reilly Simmons

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943390571
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Series: Red Carpet Catering Series , #1
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Murder on a Silver Platter

A Red Carpet Catering Mystery


By Shawn Reilly Simmons

Henery Press

Copyright © 2015 Shawn Reilly Simmons
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-943390-60-1


CHAPTER 1

He'd done it again. Torn off into the freezing night without a care in the world, disregarding the feelings of everyone he'd left behind, oblivious to how they would worry about him being alone out in the cold.

"Damn dog," Arlena muttered, clouds of steam puffing from her lips.

Penelope nodded stiffly, her body rigid against the cold. "You can say that again."

Their boots crunched through the sparkling white snow as they made their way down the road, ponytails swinging. One of them shouted "Zazoo!" every few steps.

Zazoo had scampered off right after the electricity went out, the outage conveniently disabling the electric doggie door in the kitchen and the invisible fence that surrounded their property. Zazoo had slipped out and his sapphire studded white leather collar didn't zap his neck as he passed over the barrier he had memorized at the edge of the lawn. After that he ran as hard and as fast as he could, his tiny little legs kicking against his belly as he scampered down the road, led only by the scents of the night and various calling cards from his canine neighbors.

"Zazoo! I can't believe he did this to me again," Arlena said. She darted her flashlight beam around as they walked. "Thanks for looking for him with me."

Penelope held her hands together in front of her mouth, wishing for warmth and breathing hot air through her mittens. "Not a problem," she said, even though it kind of was. Maybe more of an inconvenience. It was definitely the worst night and time to be out on the road. The power had been out for several hours and the snow plows had only been down the streets once or twice to push aside more than eight inches of heavy snow. Penelope had no idea how they were going to find the little Bich-Poo. Zazoo was fluffy and white, blending in with the snow, and without any functioning street lamps to guide the way, it was almost impossible to see anything. Penelope thought it was unlikely they'd find the little five-pound dog out here in the dark. It would be a miracle if they ended up finding him before he froze to death.

They heard a plow somewhere far off and both glanced towards the sound. The sidewalks hadn't been shoveled yet, so the two of them trudged down the middle of the road. A row of magnificent houses closed tight against the cold sat on their right, tall iron gates guarding their long driveways. The back end of Glendale's country club and golf course sat on their left, now just a wide open field covered in white. The moonless sky offered no help and it was difficult to see much around them. Penelope didn't want to say so out loud, but she hadn't noticed any footprints or signs of anything living.

"I can't believe he would run off like this again. I do everything for him and he takes off the first chance he gets." Arlena's big brown eyes began tearing up. Penelope couldn't tell whether her friend's tears were from Zazoo's acts of betrayal or the bitterly cold air. She didn't think Arlena's dog was smart enough to actively plan elaborate escapes. He was an opportunist at best.

"He always comes home eventually," Penelope offered, rubbing her friend's arm. Arlena's stylishly sleek ski jacket made a whooshing sound under her mitten. Arlena Madison always looked polished and put together, even in a lost dog crisis on a deserted New Jersey road. Tight black leggings hugged her calves and her feet were warmed by fur lined Michael Kors snow boots, which perfectly highlighted her long toned legs. She topped off her dog searching outfit with an on-trend knit deerstalker hat in soft pink with matching scarf and gloves. Her long black hair hung in a shiny silk ponytail and her makeup was perfection, expertly applied.

Penelope had thrown on a puffy coat also, but hers was faded red, a few seasons old and didn't fit quite right. It was actually one of Arlena's castoffs from an apparent grunge phase. She had the clothes on from when she had been comfortable in the den before they headed out: yoga pants, a slouchy sweater and big fuzzy socks. She'd been curled up in front of the fireplace in her cozy chair, a glass of wine in her hand and an Agatha Christie novel in her lap. Then the power had blown and she'd been recruited to leave the house on a dog hunt. As they headed out to look for Zazoo she'd stuffed her thickly socked feet into her well-worn, salty black snow boots and pulled a simple blue knit cap over her straight blond hair, which she'd tied in a messy ponytail at the base of her neck, never once thinking about coordinating her outfit. Penelope looked like she was heading out for a deep sea fishing excursion while Arlena could be heading to the hottest club in the city.

"Why don't I head back towards the house and you keep going? Maybe if we split up we'll find him faster," Arlena said, her words chattering out through her perfect white teeth and painted pink lips. Penelope was momentarily distracted when she noticed that Arlena's lipstick perfectly matched her hat and scarf. She absentmindedly swiped a cherry lip balm wand she found in her coat pocket across her lips.

"That's a good idea. Maybe he's already home. Watch out for cars on the road. They might not see you," Penelope warned.

"Do you want the flashlight?" Arlena asked.

"That's okay. I have a flashlight app. I'll be fine," Penelope said, waving her phone halfheartedly at Arlena.

"Thanks again, Pen," Arlena said before they headed off in opposite directions.

"Call me if you find him," Penelope said over her shoulder after she'd walked a few feet. She could feel the cold coming in through her yoga pants and wished she had taken the time to put on some long johns. Feeling her knees start to numb, she pressed on with a renewed determination to find the little yapper and get home to her fire, wine and book.

Zazoo was one of the major prizes in Arlena's latest breakup. She'd won custody of him after her split from Vance Reynolds, the A-list movie star. Arlena and Vance dated for less than two years, but that was long enough for her to net some serious time in the celebrity big leagues, walking red carpets, going to parties and vacationing in all the right places. Arlena was devastated when they split, especially since Vance wasted no time making a fresh start with a new leading lady. She insisted on keeping Zazoo, who they had picked out together when he was a puppy. Vance agreed willingly, mostly because he was headed off to a film set in Istanbul and couldn't take Zazoo along. They'd yet to work out any visitation arrangements.

Penelope reluctantly trudged on a half-mile farther and was considering giving up her search when a lump in the snow up ahead caught her eye.

"Oh no," she said under her breath. A fuzzy white puff lay motionless beneath a tree in the plowed up bank of snow at the edge of the golf course.

"Crap."

Penelope looked back towards the house but Arlena was out of sight. She stood for a moment, staring at the mound in the snow, willing it to move. Or better yet waiting for her eyes to re-focus and realize it was just a plop of snow fallen from the tree and not the dead body of Arlena's beloved dog. After a few moments of squinting and trying to make out the figure, she decided it definitely hadn't moved at all since she noticed it.

Penelope sighed and pulled her knit cap farther down on her head. She walked closer to the tree to get a better look, wishing the whole time that she had been the one to turn back towards home. She hated the idea of finding Zazoo, dead or injured, and breaking Arlena's already fragile heart.

The closer she got the more convinced she was that she was seeing the lifeless body of Zazoo, the spunky little dog who would launch himself straight up in the air over and over whenever he was happy to see someone. Penelope had never had a dog of her own but she felt she shared custody of Zazoo, feeding him his homemade organic diet regularly and walking him when Arlena didn't take him to the set dressed in one of his little doggie outfits.

"Zazoo?" she said, squinting and edging closer. "Come on, buddy." She moved in to investigate, the snow rising farther up her calves with each step. She pulled her boot up out of the snow to take one last large step towards the fuzzy lump. As she bounded forward, she tripped on a tree root buried beneath the snow, causing her to fall forward into the snow bank, her face almost landing on top of the semi-buried dog.

"Ugh!" She scrambled to get up, her thin pants soaking up the freezing moisture like a dry sponge. Her legs began to throb with the cold almost instantly. As she struggled to stand up, she slipped again, landing once more into the snow and onto something hard.

"Great," she sighed, shaking her head. She took a deep breath and reached out her soaking wet mitten to grab the dog. As she pulled, she realized too late that what she grabbed was way too light. Her arm did an exaggerated yank straight up into the air, a white puff waving at the top of her arm.

"Oh my God. Help! Help!" Penelope screamed horror-movie style, filling the cold night air and the space between her ears with a jangling chorus. She did not recognize her own voice as it bounced off of the trees into the dark nothingness just beyond. "Help!" Penelope felt her throat closing up, tightening against her cries. She lay rigid and helpless in the snow, unable to move.

Arlena came running down the road, the beam of her flashlight bouncing wildly in the dark. When she turned the bend, she saw Penelope lying face down in a snow bank, soaking wet and screaming, waving a fluffy white ski cap in the air, her face inches away from that of a dead girl's.

CHAPTER 2

Arlena and Penelope sat next to each other and shivered, both from the cold and from the shock of finding a dead girl buried in the snow outside their house. They sat on stools behind the black granite-topped kitchen island, grasping mugs of hot chocolate and shaking under the big blankets that the brusque female police officer had draped over their shoulders.

Zazoo jumped straight up in the air in the kitchen between the three of them, yapping happily.

"You were out walking your dog?" Officer Jenkins asked them. Her bottle blond hair was slicked against her skull and wrapped in a tight bun at the base of her muscular neck. She had an orange tan and smelled like cocoa butter and sea salt. Penelope glanced at the opaque white skin on her own hands, the blue veins at her wrists.

"No," Arlena sighed, her exasperation peeking through her practiced, patient public persona. "He had run off, and we were out looking for him."

"Uh-huh." Officer Jenkins made a note in her leather bound flip pad, her French manicured nails clicking against the pen. "And you two are what? Roommates? Girlfriends?" She did not look up from her pad.

Arlena rolled her eyes. "Penelope is my personal chef, and my friend. And we're currently working together on the same film in South Point."

"Your dog was here the whole time you guys were out looking for him?" Officer Jenkins said, still scribbling furiously. Her gaze bounced between the two women.

Penelope cut her eyes sideways at Arlena.

"Yes," Arlena said. "No, I mean, he had run off, but when we came back here to call you he was waiting at the back door."

"That's when the lights came back on," Penelope offered, her voice still raspy from the cold, and from screaming. She stared into her mug, watching the foam cloud on top of her chocolate change shape. She had drunk almost half of the warm liquid but realized she didn't remember tasting anything. Her mouth was as dry as cardboard.

"And you've never seen the young girl outside before?" Officer Jenkins asked. Her eyes never rested in one place for very long, so it was hard for them to figure out who she was talking to.

"I only saw a little of her, part of her face was sticking out of the snow and she was so blue." A shiver came over Penelope as she pictured the full blue lips on the girl's frozen face. "But no, I don't think so. We work on movie sets and we see hundreds of people a day, a lot of them strangers if they're extras or day players."

The radio on Officer Jenkins' shoulder lapel chirped loudly. Arlena and Penelope both jumped as if someone had slammed the door. Zazoo yelped and trotted over to his little red doggie bed in the corner of the kitchen, folding himself down gently onto the cushion. He had finally stopped barking, but he still kept his eyes trained on the action in the room.

"Detective Baglioni is here," announced a windblown male voice on her shoulder. It was one of the uniformed officers milling around outside.

"Perfect. Detective Baglioni is here," she muttered. "Roger that," she said to her shoulder as she pressed the button on the side of the radio. Penelope noticed Officer Jenkins had quite a bicep under her brown uniform shirt. And if she wasn't mistaken, fake boobs. The woman obviously spent a lot of time at the gym. And the tanning salon, based on the orange glow of her skin.

"Okay, ladies. Thank you for your statements. The detective will have some questions for you, I'm sure," Officer Jenkins said. Her frosted pink lips settled into a tight line on her tanned face, creating two sets of parentheses beside her mouth. Penelope wondered if the woman ever smiled. She certainly hadn't in front of them, even during her half-hearted attempts at comforting them.

"More questions? I don't know if I can. We both have early calls tomorrow and —"

"It won't take long, Miss Madison. We appreciate your cooperation," Officer Jenkins said, a tone of finality in her voice.

Arlena sighed and leaned closer to Penelope, shrugging farther under the blanket over her shoulders and crossing her arms tightly across her chest.

Zazoo stood up on his bed and let out a series of excited yaps, the bark he reserved for anyone he didn't know who came into the house. Detective Baglioni strode into the kitchen, glancing all around the room, looking everywhere but at the two women sitting behind the granite topped kitchen island.

"Hello, Detective," Officer Jenkins said, looking at the floor. Her hands were clasped tightly behind her back and she rocked gently on her steel-toed boots.

"Jenkins," the man replied.

Penelope saw his eyes move across her face and noticed the slight upturn of a smile on his lips. She got the sense of familiarity there, beyond them just passing each other in a squad room. Detective Baglioni had deep green eyes with gold flecks in them, set slightly close on his face, a strong jaw bone and a perfect nose, like the ones she'd seen on marble statues at the Met. A hint of stubble brushed his chin and Penelope absently rubbed her cheek as he spoke.

"Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, ladies. I'm Detective Joseph Baglioni." He addressed Arlena first and then he glanced at Penelope, pausing a beat to study her face. Something about the detective rang a distant bell with Penelope, but she couldn't quite place it.

"Is there anything you can think of beyond what you've told Officer Jenkins?"

Penelope glanced sideways at Arlena, who was shaking her head. "I don't think so."

A muscle twitched in his jaw and he glanced behind them at the dark wood cabinets.

"What happened to that girl? Did she get hit by a car or run over by a snow plow?" Arlena asked.

Penelope put an arm around Arlena's shoulders, worried she might get hysterical again like she did when they first found the girl. And then again when they got home and were trying to get themselves together to call the police, fumbling with the alarm and their phones and trying to quiet Zazoo's torrent of barking.

Tears crowded the corners of Arlena's eyes.

"Maybe. But there's no sign of an accident, no fresh tire marks leading to or from the snow bank. Of course a plow might have wiped any evidence of them away. It looks like she may have suffered a blow to the head. Do either of you recognize the girl from the neighborhood?"

Arlena and Penelope shook their heads again. The welling tears flopped out of Arlena's eyes and down her cheeks in pretty little streams. Penelope always marveled at how Arlena looked beautiful even when she cried. When Penelope cried, it was all red-faced and messy, definitely not film-worthy.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Murder on a Silver Platter by Shawn Reilly Simmons. Copyright © 2015 Shawn Reilly Simmons. Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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MURDER ON A SILVER PLATTER 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently read Shawn Reilly Simmons’ first book from A Red Carpet Catering Mystery Series. Murder on a Silver Platter fits perfectly into the genre of cozy mysteries. For those of you who love writers like Joanne Fluke, Julie Hyzy and Jenn Mckinlay, I would recommend giving this novel a go. The story focused itself on Penelope, a young woman working catering gigs on movie sets. She seems to have caught her big break and lands a job working on what is expected to be a Blockbuster movie. Penelope has her friend Arlena to thank for her latest opportunity. Having met on a previous set, Arlena hired Penelope as her live in chef and the two create a nice symbiotic friendship. From the extra cash, Pen gets her career going starting with this big time movie. Pen and Arlena are complete opposites in terms of finances, but at heart both women are trying to make a go of their careers and prove to themselves they can be successful. Arlena, who is a rich actress, is trying to prove she isn’t just living off her dad’s money and is hoping this movie is her chance. However, things quickly take a turn for the worst when a dead body is found by Penelope and Arlena outside of their house, in the middle of a cold winter’s night. While I enjoyed the plot line of the book, I thoughtthe characters were a bit lacking in depth. A lot of cozy mysteries come with an intriguing love plot, but this one left me wanting for a lot more. Yes, we find Pen conflicted and feeling flutters of attraction, but they just do not hit home. The way she is described makes her come across as wishy washy and I found myself wanting more. The story could have delved deeper into each character which would have drawn me into the hip movie world. The plot moved along, but I felt my attention wandering at times, because the action seemed a bit superficial. For me, cozy mysteries require a lovable and enticing protagonist, which this book just did not deliver. This is the first book in a series and I would consider reading the next to see if I just need more time to fall in love with its characters.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Big Breaks Can Be Murder I love movies (just in case you haven’t noticed), so when I heard about the Red Carpet Catering Mysteries, I was immediately interested. After all, this is a chance to spend some fictional time behind the scenes on movie sets. The series kicks off with Murder on a Silver Platter, which is as much fun as I hoped it would be. Penelope Sutherland is living her dream. She’s managed to get her company, Red Carpet Catering, up and running while still living with up and coming actress Arlena Madison. While Penelope serves as Arlena’s personal chef, the two have also become friends. Arlena has just landed the lead role in a movie that could very easily launch her acting career from the B films she’s been doing to becoming a major movie actress, and Penelope has been hired to provide the catering for the project. The movie is being filmed near their New Jersey home. After a major snow storm comes through the area, the duo find a dead body near their mansion. And then the accidents start. It appears that someone is targeting Arlena. With each new accident, Penelope is more determined to find out what is happening. But can she do it while still serving great food? With a book set in the world of filming, an author can go one of two directions with the characters. Either they will stay realistic or they will become over the top, demanding people. Here, author Shawn Reilly Simmons kept them realistic. Oh, there are a couple that are larger than life, but every single character has a human side. While I certainly would have enjoyed the humor of seeing divas in action, I found the more realistic characters wonderful, and it helped keep the tone more serious. Because things are certainly serious when it looks like someone is out to kill a friend. That’s what Penelope faces here. While the plot does seem to stall a couple of times, it isn’t long before something happens that makes Penelope suspicious again. I also liked the fact that she keeps going to the police for help as the situation develops. Okay, so it might help that Penelope is seriously crushing on the detective assigned to the case, a man who turns out to be an old friend. Things build to a logical and suspenseful climax that kept me turning pages. While this is definitely a culinary cozy, it breaks from tradition for the sub-genre by not offering any recipes. Personally, this is just something to note in passing since it’s been a decade since I tried a recipe from any of the books I’ve read. This isn’t the only culinary mystery series I’ve read that didn’t have recipes, either. This book does include a smattering of foul language, something that is normally missing from the cozies I read. This seems to be a feature of Henery Press books, the publisher here. While I prefer my books without it, again, it is worth noting only in passing. There is lots of promise of more wonderful adventures to come in Murder on a Silver Platter. I will definitely be visiting Penelope again to see what other danger she can find while catering to the stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[ I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] “Paradise is much more than warm weather and sandy beaches. For me, it’s being with the people you care about the most . You can be in paradise wherever you are if you have that" Penelope Sutherland and her Red Carpet Catering Co are at yet another movie set. Still following Arelena, this time to the Florida Coast, to shoot her latest:" Yellow Wallpaper". Arlena's boyfriend has sent his yacht so that people are comfortable, and Penelope and her crew are ensconced around the tiny resort town. Things seem to be going well. Penelope has found out her former instructor from school has also arrived on Andrea Island as he and the director are partners in his expansion project for Craw Daddy's, Emilio's sucessful restaurant up the coast. However, his not so sterling past catches up with him as two of Penelope's local servers are found unconscious in the space that will be Emilo's. And then, one of them dies disrupting the set even more, and throwing her into the middle of yet another suspicious death. With her empathetic mindset, Simmons again sets the stage for a wonderfully succulent cozy guarenteed to bring you back for seconds!
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Red Carpet Catering Series. The series is about Penelope and her catering company, Red Carpet Catering. She caters various events, specializing in movie sets. Penelope has the ability to get enmeshed in the lives of the people and events around her. When she catered a previous movie starring Arlena, she was asked to move in with her and become her personal chef as well as build her business. She jumped at the opportunity. This book opens with a snowstorm resulting in a blackout. This gives Zazoo, Arlena's dog, the opportunity to sneak out into the night. As Penelope and Arlena head outside to look for her, Penelope stumbles on a dead body of a teenage girl. Who is she and what was she doing on this street during a snowstorm? As the story progresses, Penelope and Arlena are working on a movie in New Jersey. Things are happening and Arlena seems to be at risk. Will they have to shut down the movie? It appears the dead girl looks a lot like Arlena. Does this dead young girl have any relationship to Arlena and what is happening to her? The supporting characters in the book, Arlena's father and brother, the detective investigating the murder and attempts to harm Arlena are all well written and add another dimension to the story. Of course there is some romance with both Arlena and her leading man as well as Penelope and two gentlemen, that I hope will continue in the next book. Overall, I enjoyed this cozy mystery. Penelope and the police detective actually worked together which is different as it was done happily not begrudgingly as it so often is in cozies. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Murder on a Silver Platter - Red Carpet Catering Mystery 1 Author: Shawn Reilly Simmons Published: 2-23-16 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 276 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery; Women Sleuths; Culinary Mystery; Crafts & Hobbies ISBN: 9781943390571 ASIN: B018MP0UAY Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Penelope Southerland is the owner of Red Carpet Catering and personal chef and best friends with the up and coming actress, Arlena Madison. Which was how she came to be outside during a power outage with Arlena looking for Zazoo, her little fur baby. Arlena turns back toward the house to see if the dog has returned on his own as Penelope continues to search. Off to the side of the road she spies something white and fluffy in the snow under a tree. Trudging through the snow piles created when the snow plows came through she trips and lands near what she believes is Zazoo. Instead it turns out to be the body of a young girl whom she later learns was 16 year old Holly Anderson. It seems the girl was a serious fan of Alena. Penelope is the caterer for the movie set Alena is presently staring in. A series of accidents plague the cast and crew. Things become even more dangerous when Alena is poisoned. As the police try to find a murderer, Penelope tries to find out who is behind the going ons at the set and who would want to harm Alena. Soon she herself is in danger of being the next one targeted for elimination by the unknown killer. I liked this book from the moment I started reading. With the descriptive writing you feel like you are there with Penelope and Alena as they search for Zazoo. You will be looking to make some hot cocoa from being out in the bitter cold. With characters that are well developed and believable Murder on a Silver Platter is a easy cozy mystery that flows quickly scene from scene. This is a great start to a new series. I look forward to reading more about Penelope and her catering adventures.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Book! This is a great book; this is the first book in the Red Carpet Catering Mystery series by Shawn Reilly Simmons. Penelope Sutherland runs her business Red Carpet Catering company and has just got her big break working as the onset caterer for an upcoming blockbuster. Her best friend Arlena is the films main star. When they find a girl’s body outside their house they think it is just random. When things start happening to Arlena on the set they know then that the girl who was murdered might have been mistaken for Arlena. Penelope puts her sleuthing skills to work by trying to find the person who is responsible. If you are looking for a great mystery then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I loved this little cozy mystery and the characters involved! I think it's one of my new favs to come out of Henery Press. Of course, I get excited about anything that has to do with celebrity. This was my first book by this author and I just loved the writing and the characters. I see that there are more coming on the horizon and I can't wait to read them. I definitely recommend this first installment. It was short, sweet, fun and very entertaining. Shawn Reilly Simmons has given us new characters that I see only getting better in the future! Thanks to Henery Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I had such an enjoyable and entertaining time reading this one!
SunnyCarolinaGirl More than 1 year ago
I loved the main character in this book, Penelope Sutherland, a caterer that works on movie sets. In this book, she is working on the set of a movie that her best friend, Arlena Madison, is starring in. At the beginning of the book Penelope stumbles on a dead body, and the detective that shows up to investigate happens to be someone from Penelope's past. I really enjoyed the cast of characters in this book, as well as the behind the scenes look at a movie set. I can't wait for the next book in the series! I was delighted to receive this book from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
It's not always easy to give a 5 star review. I am usually known to give 4 stars and it takes a whole lot for me to actually hit the fifth star. As soon as I read the first few lines in this story, I knew it was destined to receive all 5 stars. Penelope is such a likeable character, she is strong, independent and loyal. She happens to be the personal chef to film star Arlena, as well as having her own catering business. Lucky for Penelope, she is working as caterer on the new set of Arlena's movie. When Zazoo, Arlena's dog runs off during a storm, Penelope begins to search for him and stumbles across a body in the road. Thinking it must have been an accident, Penelope tries to shake the gruesome image from her head and focus on the job. When attempts are made on Arlena's life, Penelope begins to try to put the puzzle pieces together. Her reconnection to her childhood friend brings just the right amount of romance to the story. I am thrilled that I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. I will definitely be reading more books in this series. The author has done a great job of writing this story and her style of writing makes this an intriguing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was great. Read entire book in 1 day. Going to read #2 right away.