Cover Image: The Golden Spoon

The Golden Spoon

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Member Reviews

An alluring concept: "the *Great British Bake Off* murder mystery" that fell flat.
Was it good? Sure.
Would I read it again? Nope.
Will I recommend it? Maybe?

The characters are overall very comfy and cozy, the plot is fairly straight forward, and the twists are not major but still exciting enough. It's not a rollercoaster but a nice read. If you want something for a rainy afternoon, maybe this is your choice.

Thank you #NetGalley and publishers for the ARC of #TheGoldenSpoon
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The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell
Rating: 4⭐️

Grafton Manor is the famed (& isolated) location for Bake Week, a baking competition hosted by “America’s Grandmother, ” baker extraordinaire, & heir to the manor, Betsy Martin. For its tenth season, six lucky contestants will have the pleasure of being judged by a new co-host, Archie Morris, much to Betsy’s dismay.
The six contestants include: 
Gerald - a high school math teacher who requires order & preciseness 
Hannah - a naïve 21-year-old from small-town MN whose pies are famous at the restaurant she works
Lottie - a 72-year-old retired, registered nurse with unfinished business
Stella - an unemployed journalist with an obsession with Betsy & an ill-timed trauma response 
Pradyumna - a young tech-millionaire who is constantly looking for his next distraction
Peter - a historical building restorer who bakes for his husband & newly adopted daughter

As the week progresses, strangers become friends, secrets are revealed, bakes are sabotaged, inner demons are battled, & someone ends up dead.

With it’s multi-POVs and short chapters, this novel was a fun & cozy mystery. Some aspects were predictable, but I came to care about & like the characters (especially Lottie & Pradyumna & their relationship) & their journey on the show.

I was initially drawn to this book because of the comparisons to Clue & Only Murders in the Building, both of which I’m obsessed with, but they were misguided comparisons. The only connection is that there’s a dead body. 
This book suffers from the way it is being advertised. There’s not a “killer on the loose” throughout the book, as the murder doesn’t actually happen & you don’t know who is murdered until the last 60 pages of the book. There’s not enough time for the characters to investigate or feel as though a killer is in their midst or for the reader to make speculations as to whodunnit.
The plot mostly focuses on the drama that surrounds the contestants & the filming a competition show, with a slight mystery in the background regarding one of the contestants, & a murderous ending.

Overall, it was a fun & cozy mystery during a baking competition, but not what I was expecting based on its advertising. 

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This was a good murder mystery with a lot of moving parts and people. I love me a competition setting to begin with and add in an eclectic cast of semi-normal to eccentric characters and I am going to love it. 

This book is very ‘Clue’ like where more than one person could be the killer—and even the victim. 

Overall an engaging read 4.75⭐️
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The more I think about this book the more annoyed I get. 

I know it was supposed to be a murder mystery but the murder part of the mystery does not really come in until EIGHTY PERCENT IN. 

As someone who does not watch the Great British Bake Off, I was expecting it mixed in with a bit of murder, not, apparently, retellings of the show. I'm not even sure the book dragged because of the 6 or 7 POVs that went by quickly, but they were all very similar sounding to the point that I had to refer to the early chapters to remember who was who. By the end, I just gave up. 

Apparently this was a cozy mystery, hence not a lot of mystery and more cozy? But if that was the case, why would you comp it to Knives Out, a movie that is about solving a murder???


Anyway thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for a chance to read and review.
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I'm certain I know why this book falls short for a lot of people. It's marketed as a thriller, but this book is so far from being a thriller. I would consider it a cozy mystery. Most of the plot is based around the bake show and there's no murder until the end (like in the last 50 pages). There are no thrills in this book.

However, I still very much enjoyed this book. Iove cozy mysteries, though. I enjoyed the bake show aspect, it gave me all The Great British Baking Show vibes! I very much enjoy the cooking show, so I believe that is a big part of why I enjoyed this book so much.

I'd recommend this book to those who like cozy mysteries, baking tv shows, and books with multiple POVs.

Thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for the arc of this book, in exchange for my honest review!
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I kept hearing about this book. I was touted as a The Great British Bakeoff meets Agatha Christie.  It did not disappoint me. I loved the contestants and the descriptions of their baking and back stories. The setting is a mansion in remote Vermont where the contestants can become easily isolated. There is even a dark and stormy night. This book is a yummy treat.
This is a review of an ARC provided by NetGalley.
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The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell 🥄 

3.5 🌟 

Are you a foodie who also loves a good mystery? The Golden Spoon by Jesse Maxwell is a delectable and devious adult cozy mystery, with storytelling similar to Holly Jackson’s YA hit series, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. It is also reminiscent of Clue, and could certainly see itself a movie deal before all is said and done. The cover art is spot on to the story told, and commend the selection by the publisher.

What I loved most is that the chapters switched POV and were short in length which gave it the Clue and The Maid vibes. Most of the novel takes place in and around an expansive Vermont manor house. In some ways Grafton becomes its own character, and makes me want to go participate in a murder mystery dinner at a similar destination. 

With the switches in POV, I believe the audiobook would be worth a try too! 

Things I learned during this read that are personal reading preferences, and didn’t align with my mood reading tendencies at the time.
1. I’m not as much a foodie when it comes to my reading. Although this book doesn’t contain a ton of food references, I’ve learned it’s something I don’t seek in the pages.
2. I may have to be in a particular mood for cozy mysteries, and may tend to gravitate to more dark and twisty novels, I.e. Freida McFadden & Lucinda Berry. 

While those listed above are personal preferences and are related to the overall rating, the book is still a solid choice for those who do enjoy cozy mysteries. I’d love to hear what others think?! That’s the beauty of reading and rating - it’s subjective.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blurb 🫧:

“A sharp and suspenseful thriller for mystery buffs and avid bakers alike, The Golden Spoon is a brilliant puzzle filled with shocking twists and turns that will keep you reading late into the night until you turn the very last page of this incredible debut.”

Pub Date: March 7th

#books #bookish #booksta #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblog #bookblogger #bookblogging #booksbooksbooks #bookreviews #thegoldenspoon #bookreview #netgalley #arc #mysterybooks #atriabooks  #advancedreaderscopy #bookrecommendations #goodreads
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What a fun romp of a mystery! After reading some pretty dark tales recently, I found The Golden Spoon palette cleansing; not too high pressure and a good time!

The story will be a familiar concept to anyone who has watched The Great British Bake Off. Betsy is famed for her cookbooks long before she began hosting a baking competition, out of her home in Vermont, Grafton Manor. This year the network has thrust a co-host onto her, Archie, and Betsy finds him totally annoying!

The competitors arrive, and they are six very different and diverse people. I listened to an audio of the book, and it was entertaining to hear all the different voices tell the story from their POV. We have the six contestants POV, as well as Betsy's.

Although the book opens with the scene of a murder, so we do know one is coming, the story takes its sweet time getting their. I don't mind at all, however, as the author skillfully draws out her characters and her story line, keeping me totally entertained along the way. We also have a couple of mysteries happening in the background. Is someone sabotaging the contestants baking results? And what happened in the disappearance of a housekeeper long ago?

It is a credit to the author that she keeps the reader so entertained, even though the actual murder doesn't take place until near the end of the book. I guess you would call this a cozy, in that it is not dark, but I thought the fun plot line put it in a different category. I can even see people not that attracted to mysteries really enjoying reading this book.
Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher ATria Books for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Unfortunately, within the first couple chapters, The Golden Spoon did not grip me. Therefore, I did not finish it.
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I was sideswiped by how much I enjoyed this book. Clue meets great British bake-off. I do think that certain characters were a bit superfluous but I do understand the practicality of it to create unreliable narrators. The twists are very unexpected. 4/5 stars
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! 

I LOVED the majority of this book! The show, its contestants, and the rich backstory some of the contestants brought to the story are what kept me engaged. That being said, I wanted a more dynamic ending. This ending and “twist” felt rushed. The book was a good read and made me feel like I was watching behind the scenes of a true baking show, a la GBBO.
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The Golden Spoon is a fun murder-mystery! It is not often that the two (fun and murder) can intermingle so flawlessly, but Jessa Maxwell does an amazing job of achieving this balance! Definitely reminiscent of The Maid (Nina Prose). 

Bake Week is celebrating its 10th year as a television baking contest, hosted by Betsy Martin. This year the producers have added a host, Archie Morris, much to her chagrin. The competition invites 6 bakers from across the country to endure a week of baking challenges, ending with a sole winner. The competition starts off the same as any other, until it becomes clear that someone is trying to sabotage the contestants--an open refrigerator, sugar replaced with salt--its all fun and games until a body is discovered on set. 

I really loved this Food Network meets True Crime thriller--the twists and turns had me guessing until the end! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing a copy of The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge fan of Bake Off-type shows and really enjoy them for their wholesome charm. The Golden Spoon is the grand prize from the hit television show Bake Week, and things go awry right from the start. Betsy Martin, host, cookbook author who initially resembles Mary Berry, hosts this competition at her estate Grafton Manor. This year she is being joined by a co-host Archie Morris without her knowledge as the producers attempt to boost the show’s ratings. We are introduced to 6 bakers who all take their turn in narrating this book. Lottie: the oldest contestant, superfan, and up for a little mischief; Gerard: meticulous teacher; Stella: ex-journalist with a mysterious back-story; Peter: construction worker; Hannah: the youngest contestant and pie baking phenom who can’t wait for her shot at stardom; and Pradyumna: bored with life, finds baking is fun and he happens to be good at it, when he’s not drinking all of Grafton’s wine, he’s up for a fun adventure. The book opens with a death in the baking tent, and we know that Betsy has found the body when she checks the tent during a rainstorm. Each day one contestant is sent home and right from the start, the cast has a saboteur. First simple ingredients are swapped out and later things escalate becoming more dangerous. We follow this closed-room mystery through each contestant’s perspective, learning more about their backstories along the way. As each tidbit is revealed, the murderer among them, we slowly find out what happened. I found myself really looking forward to Lottie and Pradyumna’s chapters as these characters were so likeable and full of, well, character. I wish there had been more baking competition that initially grabbed me as a cozy mystery, and less of each and every character. Still, this book was fun and would really appeal to those, who like me, enjoy baking competition shows and fun mysteries.
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I love reality tv, cooking, and closed door mysteries, so I extra loved The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell. Six contestants are chosen to be on Bake Week, a reality show filmed at an estate in New England. Suspense, a murder, hidden staircases, an age-old mystery, breads, cakes, and pies. This is well-written, a charmer, and a great suspense novel!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Atria for an advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review!

This story didn’t do it for me. As a fan of thrillers and The Great British Baking Show, I was stoked to read this and overall it felt rushed and the mystery itself fairly transparent and unrewarding. The writing is sparse and matter-of-fact and the characters are bland and not endearing

This is a short mystery and it suffers for it - with so many characters and conspiracies and mini mysteries, the story would have benefitted from probably another 100 pages of development.

All chapters are written in the first person POV except for one and I can’t for the life of me figure out why, unless it’s to broadcast a plot point (which wouldn’t make sense because this is a mystery and making a piece of that mystery so obvious seems counterintuitive). Speaking of those POVs: none of them are truly differentiated enough to make me feel connected to anyone. One character acts/speaks as if they are neurodivergent but it’s never explicitly stated and many characters have personal epiphanies and growth off page. 

And the murderer does deliver the classic “Yes I killed [them]! And I would do it all over again!” This definitely elicited an eye-roll. Overall, I really didn’t enjoy the mystery aspects of this story and the baking competition aspect felt tacked on.
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Thank you to Jessa Maxwell for getting me out of my 3-star reading slump.  This Agatha Christie-like mystery was right up my alley.  
A reality TV cooking show is the setting, and all of the contestants have their own POV, including the host.  There is a creepy manor, current show business drama, an age-old mystery, a stormy night, and of course, a murder.  
I appreciated that all of the characters had different degrees of likability, and not all were horrible excuses for human beings, as is the case for many of the thrillers that I read.  This book was light and interesting entertainment.
~Thank you to Net Galley and Publisher.
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Readers may wonder if Jessa Maxwell is a master backer as the first two-thirds of this book are descriptions of contestants' works submitted to a televised bake show competition called Bake Week.  The characters are at first  glance tropes of reality TV, but we find they have much more depth.  Running the show is matriarch Betsy Martin, a celebrity chef who runs a strict show.   In the opening pages a murder occurs, but reader don't know who was killed and it could be any of the show's amateur bakers.   Yet, despite the overload of baking info, there's a neat mystery here that brings to mind All the Murders in the Building or Knives Out.   This could be optioned to Hollywood without any trouble.   Give it a chance, the last 75 pages are worth the wait.
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The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell is a novel set in Vermont during the filming of a highly-rated baking show at a manor estate. Besty is the host of the show and is viewed as "America's grandmother." She can do no wrong. However, this new season has her with an unwanted co-host and some on-set sabotage. Lots of drama to make this an enjoyable story. Read and enjoy!
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Amazing thriller, I couldn't put it down!

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
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What an interesting ride this was! I've never voluntarily watched a baking show in my life, so I was a little unsure when I started this book. I was pleased to discover that the bake-off was merely the setting of the story and didn't receive too much of the focus. 

The book was enjoyable overall but I wasn't blown away. I solved the mystery very early on and struggled to finish the last of it. I did enjoy the characters and the way the other brought things back around at the end of the book.
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