The Crime Readers' Association

Shawn Reilly Simmons

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Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of seven novels in the Red Carpet Catering mystery series featuring Penelope Sutherland, chef-owner of a movie set catering company. She’s also written several short stories which have been published in various anthologies, including “Burnt Orange” in Passport to Murder: the 2017 Bouchercon Anthology; “The Prodigy” in Mystery Tour, the Crime Writers’ Association Anthology; and “Now is the Hour” in Writers Crushing Covid-19.

Shawn’s story “The Last Word,” appearing in Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story of 2019. Shawn also won the Anthony Award as editor of the Best Anthology or Collection for the same anthology. In addition, her story “The Red Herrings at Killington Inn” received an Agatha Nomination in 2020 for Best Short Story. Her story “Bay of Reckoning,” appearing in Murder at Sea, won Best Short Story Agatha in 2021.

Shawn was born in Indiana, grew up in Florida, and began her professional career in New York City as a sales executive for an international airline after graduating from the University of Maryland with an English Lit degree. She has worked as a line cook, bartender, marketing executive, and bookstore manager, sold fine wine, written radio commercials, organized an annual mystery convention, and cooked for the cast and crew on movie sets.

​Shawn served on the Board of Malice Domestic for over twenty years. She is the President and Managing Editor at Level Best Books. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Crime Writers’ Association in the UK. She lives in historic downtown Frederick, Maryland, with her husband, son, and French Bulldog.



Other Awards

Winner of:

Agatha Award, Best Short Story (twice)

Anthony Award, Best Collection or Anthology (editor)

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