About Us

The editors of Level Best Books are Shawn Reilly Simmons, Verena Rose, and Harriette Sackler collectively known as The Dames of Detection.

Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of the Red Carpet Catering Mysteries published by Henery Press featuring Penelope Sutherland, a movie set caterer. Shawn is also the author several short stories appearing in various anthologies including “Burnt Orange” in the Bouchercon anthology Passport to Murder published by Down & Out Books, and “The Prodigy” in Mystery Tour, the Crime Writers’ Association Anthology published by Orenda Books in the UK.  

Shawn serves on the Board of Malice Domestic, and is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Crime Writers’ Association. Cooking behind the scenes on movie sets perfectly combined two of her great loves, movies and food, and provides the inspiration for her series of novels.

Verena Rose is the Agatha Award nominated co-editor of Not Everyone’s Cub of Tea, An Interesting and Entertaining History of Malice Domestic’s First 25 Years and the Managing Editor of the Malice Domestic anthology series. In addition to serving as Chair of Malice Domestic, Verena is also a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime-National, a member of Sisters in Crime Chesapeake; a member of Sisters in Crime – Guppies, a member of the Historical Novel Society and a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

As the representative for Level Best Books, Verena is a member of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the Crime Writers Association (CWA), and the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC).

Verena has a passion for the historical mystery and she has written and had published several short stories in that sub-genre. She is currently doing research for an historical novel featuring characters that have appeared in her short stories.


Harriette Sackler is a multi-published, Agatha Award-nominated short story writer whose work has appeared in numerous anthologies of mystery fiction. Harriette has served on the Malice Domestic Board of Directors for many years and her position as Grants Chair allows her to choose the recipients of the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers in the traditional mystery genre. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers Association, Historical Writers of America, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Historical Novel Society of the U.S.