Murder on the Chopping Block By Shawn Reilly Simmons: Review/Giveaway

Nov 2, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Murder on the Chopping Block. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Having established a reputation as a caterer serving up gourmet meals for clients in the entertainment business, East Coast caterer Penelope Sutherland and her Red Carpet Catering company are in Salacia Beach, California, for the filming of a potential summer movie blockbuster. Renowned producer Calvin Pope not only hired Penelope to cater the cast and crew’s meals, he’s her neighbor and owner of the beach house where she’s staying. The gorgeous view and saltwater pool almost makes up for the turmoil on the troubled movie set, where the film’s third director battles with the temperamental Australian starring actor. When a prop gun mishap yields deadly results, filming barely pauses as the last scenes are completed and another actor taken in for questioning.mystery

Having fallen into a pattern of stumbling over bodies, Penelope is more than a little relieved to have her boyfriend, New Jersey Homicide Detective Joey Baglioni, arrive early for a visit. While Joey relaxes on the beach and enjoys a bit of non-productive fishing, Calvin and his up-and-coming producer daughter Scarlett enlist Penelope as a consulting expert for their new culinary competition television show. She wonders if her executive status will be briefer than expected when Calvin and his young, very young wife’s roaming cat traipses into the beach house covered in blood, leading them back the Pope house. Whether by his own hand, accident, or assault, Calvin is sidelined as Penelope can’t help but become invested in the tragedies plaguing the Pope projects.

This seventh in the series delves deep into behind-the-scenes machinations of the entertainment business, where unproven potential superstars wield power based solely on word-of-mouth predictions. The Pope family’s dysfunctional interactions are just as perplexing as they are fascinating, with the daughter and even younger step-mother vying for attention and power. Interspersed throughout are mouth-watering descriptions of not just their gourmet catered meals, but the fresh seafood delicacies that are a highlight of the shore. The glimpse into a cooking competition is almost too brief for reality competition fans, but this is more than made up for with scenes featuring the exhausted film crew. Penelope continues to be a delightful and likable heroine, one whose interrogation skills are admittedly lacking and unsubtle but succeeds anyway through her genuine concern for the victims. An on-vacation Joey is a laid-back but protective assistant, and readers will look forward to see where they go next in their relationship. A completely unpredictable mystery, escalating crimes, and the Red Carpet Catering crew ensure for a satisfying and extremely well-written read.

Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.

To enter to win a copy of Murder on the Chopping Block, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “chopping” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 2, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Thanks so much for a chance to win a copy of this book.

  2. Murder on the chopping block would be greatly enjoyed. Thanks.

  3. Love the book cover and the storyline. I would really enjoy reading this book. Thank you for the chance.

  4. Thanks for the chance to win a copy

  5. Sounds interesting, although the premise makes me think of Brandon Lee. Count me in!

  6. Thanks for the chance to win. The plot sounds very interesting.

  7. Shawn Reilly Simmons always supplies the reader with a great book to read. I have enjoyed reading her prior books and look forward to having a chance to read this one. Thanks so much for the chance.

  8. New author to me. Love culinary mysteries, looking forward to reading.

  9. This sounds like a fun series, thanks for the chance to win a copy of Murder on the Chopping Block. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  10. I would love to win a copy! Thanks! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  11. Sounds like a fun read.
    Need to read about
    summer weather in the
    middle of a cold snap.

  12. Thank you for the chance it sounds like fun to read. It’s so cold in Wisconsin reading this book would take me away.?

  13. We have a winner!


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