Cover Image: The Golden Spoon

The Golden Spoon

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Member Reviews

Just finished reading "The Golden Spoon" by Jessa Maxwell and I couldn't put it down! This novel is a page-turner from start to finish.

What I loved most about this book is the way it keeps you guessing until the very end. Just when you think you have it all figured out, a new twist is introduced that keeps you on your toes. The characters are well-developed, and the writing style is engaging and descriptive.

Jessa Maxwell's storytelling skills are truly impressive, and she has crafted a mystery novel that will keep you hooked until the final page. I highly recommend "The Golden Spoon" to anyone who enjoys a good mystery novel. It's definitely one of my favorite reads of the year! #thegoldenspoon #jessamaxwell #mysterynovel #bookreview
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What an interesting concept and plot. The characters were really interesting and I am really excited to see what else this author has in store. Thank you so much to net gallery and Simon and schuster Canada for the ARC.
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a fantastic literary thriller for anyone out there looking for a summer read . . . . . .. . . .  .. . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .
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If you could mix The Writing Retreat and The Guest List together in a blender, pour it out, bake it up and decorate it in rich layers of icing... this cake would be called The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell!  My first thought after finishing it was, "How could anyone want anything more out of a mystery-type thriller?"  Why,yes, I did love it!

I read this book in a day, and when I wasn't reading, I couldn't wait to pick it back up again!  A wide assortment of characters were thrown into a baking competition called Bake Week, all vying to be the winner of the Golden Spoon trophy.  At times, these characters made some controversial decisions, but I really enjoyed them all for different reasons!  There are unlikable characters, naive characters, pompous characters, smug characters, underdog characters, and pull at your heart strings characters all in this locked room thriller!  With a full cast of narrators, the audiobook really added to the tension and drama of the competition also!

Typically, the last act of a thriller is the make it or break it time for me, and I sadly had to set this one down with only 45 minutes left to read.  Within this last section, there were twists I didn't see coming, and all were perfectly timed!  I loved how the book wrapped up and how everyone got a perfect ending to their story.  This is how a thriller should finish up!

My one small, trivial critique was with a phone booth!  As I grew up in a time of payphones, and I am clearly not a 21-year-old Gen Z-er, I'm not sure how much knowledge one would have in order to operate one?  How can someone know enough that they'd need coins to operate it, but not know what a dial tone was?  Also, the fact that a phone number was memorized in the day and age of cell phones being at our finger-tips threw me a curve ball.  But really, this issue could purely come down to an age thing for me, and being out of touch with how much/little the young-ins know about older technology!  This is it.  This is the only issue or concern I had with this book, how trivial, right?

This book checked all the boxes that I look for, that I need, and that I yearn for with a thriller!

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the complimentary copy to read and review.
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The cookies won't be the only things that crumble this week... 

Within the first few chapters, you are aware that someone has died. It is unclear to the reader who is dead, why they died or who did it. I felt it took a while for things to start happening, so it was a little slower pace than I generally like. I would say that at about 80-85% through, you start getting some answers. 

You learn about each competitor as you progress through the book, and for the most part, I didn't find any of them particularly intriguing. In my opinion, they were boring and even one of them annoyed me.
The story is told from multiple POVs, most from the first-person perspective, but one is from the third-person perspective. Does anyone know why this is the case? When I noticed this, I had a feeling it was to make this character stand out a little bit more. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Golden Spoon and felt it was a well-written debut novel. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys baking shows, sabotage, secrets, and murder mysteries.

Thank you @simonschusterca @atriabooks  & @netgalley for the advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Filming for the tenth season of Bake Week, a baking show to determine the best baker has commenced at the old gothic mansion owned by host Betsy Martin. Each contestant brings their own backstory, and drama along with their skills. When someone turns up dead, people start pointing fingers at who could be responsible for the death.

Ever since I read Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelley and The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barnett, I have been looking for a good baking/cooking reality show book. This did not disappoint, and I really enjoyed this story! The chapters were very short, which kept the story flowing and intriguing, making me want to continue reading. I was so happy when the competition aspect of the story wasn't completely lost. I love how there was a saboteur in the mix, but we were never certain who it was until the reveal. There are 7 POVs, which I thought were done really well. I listened to it on audio, and I found each of the narrators did a great job with the different characters. Learning the backstory of each character was so interesting, and I was invested in each and every one of them. I loved trying to figure out who the murderer was, and the motive behind it. I also felt satisfied with the conclusion, although some aspects were rather predictable, it all tied together really well.
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Celebrity chef, and “America’s Grandmother,” Betsy Martin, is ready to host season ten of The Golden Spoon, a baking competition that is set at her estate. This year is different, because Betsy will be sharing the co-hosting spotlight with the brash Archie Morris. As soon as filming begins with the six new contestants, things start going wrong. There are mixed up ingredients, appliances tampered with, and eventually a body discovered. Everyone has a different motive for going on the competition show, and a motive for murder. 

This book had so many fun references to The Great British Baking Show. However, the hosts and judges weren’t as likable as they are on TV. Though Betsy was called “America’s Grandmother,” she wasn’t warm and friendly in person. Archie looked good on TV but he was really a jerk. The six contestants were well-developed with full backstories. 

This kind of story can be repetitive as each character goes through the motions of the competition. I liked how the different POVs followed each character at different times in the competition rather than giving everyone’s perspective at the same time. The only exception was when the body was found towards the end of the story where each perspective told what almost everyone was doing at that moment. 

Fans of The Great British Baking Show will love The Golden Spoon!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada and Tandem Collective for providing a copy of this book!
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The Golden Spoon 

Isn’t it fun to find a unique book? 

This closed door mystery takes place during the taping of a baking show. Now I don’t know about you, but my 6 year old and I love watching baking shows so already it had my interest. 

In the very first chapter, we find out something awful has happened…and then the story steps backwards, to days previous, when the contestants arrive. Six bakers competing for the golden spoon. Two master bakers as hosts. The first, I’d say, 75% of the story is told from alternating perspectives, letting us into the lives, stories and secrets of the characters bit by bit. Breadcrumbs (or should I say cake crumbs?) are dropped all throughout. 

I will say that the one thing about the writing style that threw me is that all of the characters’ chapters are written in first person except for Betsy, the main host, whose chapter is written in third person. I have some theories on why that is. If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your ideas. 

The last quarter of the book is where it turns from drama to thriller. The focus is on the murder and the fallout. Loose ends are wrapped up. Twists are turned. Piece of cake, right? 

This was a fun, bingeable read…and if it doesn’t have you wanting to treat yourself to some carb laden treats, you’re a better human than I. 

Thanks to Simon Schuster, Atria  and NetGalley for my e arc in exchange for my honest review.
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This was such a fun cross between the Great British Bake off and Clue!! Set in an old manor house, we get to know a cast of characters competing on a reality baking show. Told in alternating perspectives, we slowly learn the various motives and secrets these characters have as one of them turns up dead. Great on audio with a full cast narration too. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review. I really, really enjoyed this locked door murder mystery debut!
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This book is surrounded by a lot of buzz for 2023 and I am so excited to have received an eARC!

The book is a murder mystery set on the show of Bake Week where 5 lucky contestants descend on Grafton Manor to wow the judge.. or judges! 

This novel is written from multiple perspectives which kept the book surprisingly interested; however, in the beginning it was difficult to differentiate the characters in each perspective. 30%. of the way through the book, it became a lot easier to quickly identify the characters and their space in others perspectives. 

The book is an easy read, perfect for when you want some cozy entertainment. The plot of murder mystery was intriguing and all, but Jesse Maxwell had me hooked on the characters and setting alone. The character development made this book, and kept me going. Lottie and Pradyumna's relationship was enough to keep my going and filled my heart with happiness. 

Highly recommend getting your hands on this novel for a cozy entertaining quick read if you are in need of a reading kick starter. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
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Cozy mystery lovers unite! Have I got a rec for you!

Multiple POV, Great British Bake Off meets Clue, mystery whodunnit.

Wow, this one had me constantly second guessing everything! Not too twisty and turny, it was the ultimate cozy mystery read.

Highly recommend!

Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

Out now!
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Okay, I actually really loved this book! As a huge fan of The Great British Bake-off and cozy cozy mysteries this was just the perfect combination for a book to binge in a single sitting! 

The story is told in multiple POV’s which I sometimes find to be overwhelming but in this case they were executed flawlessly! Each characters’ voice was so different and their unique personalities really shon through! They also all played an integral part in the story, which kept me invested as we moved between perspectives to see how things unfolded! 

I highly recommend you pick this one up if you are a fan of The Maid or The Thursday Murder Club!
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a fine read, I waited a bit before review to form my thoughts but unfortunately the book wasn't memorable enough for me. This was fine, I can see people enjoying this
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(3.5 stars)

This setting and premise really appealed to me. I loved the idea of the baking show as the background for a murder mystery!

Cozy mysteries are not my usual kind of mystery read, so this was a bit outside of my reading comfort zone. The mystery of who is dead, and who the killer is, kind of takes a backseat until the end of the book, as the reader gets to know the various contestants and hosts. For me, there were a lot of characters to keep track of at first, because I didn’t feel like the story stayed with any one character for long enough to get to know them.

I loved the baking challenges. They were fun to read about and the TV show setting was entertaining. If you’re a cozy mystery reader, this is probably going to be something you will really enjoy. I think I was anticipating something a bit darker when I read a review copy last year, especially based on that lovely cover. The cover is dark and gives off a more menacing vibe that I guess I associate with darker stories than cozy mysteries.

It was a fun read, but the mystery was not as prominent as I’d hoped, and the characters were a bit too flat for me to feel more invested.
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Out now 

“Cozy British bake-off meets Only Murders In the building.” 

This is a cozy mystery with a delicious backdrop filled with mouthwatering recipes being thrown about as 6 home bakers compete to win best in bake.  
 It’s a recipe to die for!

This is a fun concept that  draws on our love of pop culture and reality based entertainment where people compete for top honours and work to win at all costs. 

 With a 6 POVS, an easy pace,  and a dead body on the outset, The Golden Spoon is a yummy locked room mystery that will be appetizing to many. 

Thank you to the publishers,
Author and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for any honest review.
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I LOVED this! Cooking competition shows are some of my favourites to watch on TV, so I was excited when I read the synopsis of this book. I thought the characters were so fun, and I loved how chapters alternated character perspectives. 

Lottie and Gerald’s chapters were my fave, but I couldn’t put this down once I started reading! I did predict certain twists in the book, but it was a fun ride regardless. 

Especially for a debut novel, this book is amazing and I can’t wait to see what Jessa Maxwell comes out with next!

4.5/5 stars ⭐️ 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts!
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The Golden Spoon is Jessa Maxwell's brilliantly fun debut novel.
Okay, hands up if you binge watch baking competitions. Keep them up if you love murder mysteries, especially the 'locked room' kind. Yes? Then this is the book you need to read next.

Six lucky contestants are at beloved celebrity judge Betsy Martin's grand home. Also on the grounds is the tent where the contest will take place. As readers we're privy to the 'behind the scenes' machinations of making the show and what people are like when the cameras stop rolling. I'll stop there as you can just guess what happens right?

I think because I am one of those binge baking watchers, I conjured up very vivid mental images of  both the set and the participants. Fellow watchers will see that Maxwell has created contestants that mirror real show participants. But what I hadn't imagined was the direction that Maxwell would take with her mystery. Each and every character has something they really don't want to bring to light. Each one of them  have point of view in The Golden Spoon, giving the reader lots of opportunity and information to make a guess as to the 'whodunit'. There's more than one mystery woven into the book - and one in particular had me tearing up.

I was whisked away and bowled over by this debut novel. Absolute cozy fun to read, with an Only Bodies in the Building vibe.
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3.5/5 stars

The Golden Spoon is a delightful mix of The Great British Bake Off and Clue, which is precisely why I struggled to put this one down. 

This season of Bake Week will be like no other. As usual, several contestants are whisked away to Grafton Manor in the Vermont countryside, which also happens to be the childhood home of Bake Week’s infamous host and celebrity baker Betsy Martin. However, this season introduces a new cohost that threatens to ruin Betsy’s show by making it his own. Add in some baking sabotage, mysteriously strange characters and a dead body, and you’ll be sure to have a hit show.

I ate this book right up. During COVID I binged the Canadian version of The Great British Bake off and reading this book felt as though I was experiencing a new season. The “who dunnit” was well strung out to the point where you’re still not sure exactly what happens until the very end. 

With that being said, the book is fairly predictable. There are also characters and storylines that build up only to come to a less than enthusiastic conclusion. 

Overall, it’s a fun, easy read that will make you want to stuff your face with cake while trying to figure out who the murderer is. 

Death by chocolate cake, anyone? 🍰
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“𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏’𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒓, 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚?”

A baking-focused mystery? SIGN ME UP. Two of my favourite things include cooking and baking, alongside murder mysteries so I was excited to pick up The Golden Spoon.

I love a good flash forward to set up anticipation of what is to come; the opening chapter sets a great scene: a small cast of characters, a raging thunderstorm, an isolated old manor, and the discovery of blood. As the story itself truly begins, you get the perspectives of the creator of Bake Week and each of the six contestants. The competition is definitely made for fans of cooking shows; I was reminded of Alexis Hall's Bake Expectations series, especially seeing some of the contestants’ creations (I want to make Pradyumna's chive and goat cheese quick bread!). I struggled to connect with many of the characters; I particularly found Hannah very unlikeable, and didn’t like Peter’s early exit (the one character I really liked), especially when other characters found reasons to stick around. The investigation of Lottie's mother's disappearance gave the characters a much needed reason to interact on more than just a surface level (plus the team-up of Lottie and Pradyumna gave a great Only Murders in the Building vibe!). I found the ending itself to be pretty standard, predicting where it was headed fairly early on.

The Golden Spoon is a story of baking, ambition, secrets and lies. It's a lighthearted mystery that is being adapted for a series for Hulu. I think it'll play well for television and give a chance to expand on certain elements that could've been more developed (like some of the drama from the baking show itself). Thank you to Simon Schuster Canada for the ARC!
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada, Atria Books and NetGalley for this ARC!

This is a great cozy murder mystery!  Told from the POV of multiple characters this book keeps you guessing until the last page.

One thing I really enjoyed about this story was that at the beginning you are introduced to all of the characters, kind of like a game of Clue, and it is so easy to switch back to those pages for reference.

I was able to read this book in two sittings, I only stopped as I had other things I needed to do, otherwise I would of devoured it in one.

Make sure you have a delicious slice of cake when you are reading too!  4 Stars and will be recommending this book!
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