Cover Image: The Golden Spoon

The Golden Spoon

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

β€œπ‘Ίπ’π’Žπ’† π’•π’‰π’Šπ’π’ˆπ’” 𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏’𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 π’ƒπ’†π’‚π’–π’•π’Šπ’‡π’–π’ 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 π’Šπ’π’”π’Šπ’…π’† 𝒂𝒔 π’•π’‰π’†π’š 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒓, 𝒂𝒓𝒆 π’•π’‰π’†π’š?”

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!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada.  This was my type of cozy mystery as I really do not enjoy reading  a lot of cozy mysteries.  I enjoyed how it started right in thick of it in the bake off.  It was well done and kept my enoyment.  It was nothing over the top but if you enjoy a lock room mystery, this will work for you.
Was this review helpful?
I read this book pretty quickly, as it was a short and pretty quickly paced. The synopsis gives a good insight into the main storylines, so if it catches your attention, I would definitely say it is worth reading over the course of a weekend. I wouldn’t rate this among the strongest thrillers/suspenses I’ve read lately, but it did have some intrigue and the setting was really enjoyable. Although I had some trouble keeping the character names straight, they were all described well, and I was able to place them quite quickly each chapter. Overall, this was a good debut, and I look forward to reading Maxwell’s next novel. 
Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC of this novel!
Was this review helpful?
I liked the concept for this novel, a murder mystery during a baking competition. It was a good cozy mystery. I loved that it opened with a description of the event and details about each of the characters. It was great to learn about each of them before reading the story from all of their different viewpoints. 

I liked the opening from Betsy’s viewpoint, but it felt like it took a long time to get to the actual murder and then it wrapped up very quickly. 

Overall, it was a fairly quick and fun read!
Was this review helpful?
The Golden Spoon captures your attention from the first chapter where someone is found murdered to the very last page.

The book is told in multiple POV's and this works so well as you get to know the characters and their quirks.

Grafton Manor itself has its own secrets and the house has such character.

The Bake Off adds to the fun as the competitors try to outdo each other.  Mysterious things begin to happen.

Twists and turns, clues to follow and a closed door mystery are some of my favourite aspects of any  book and The Golden Spoon does not disappoint.

I am hoping for a sequel but no matter what I look forward to Jessa Maxwell's next novel.

Thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster Canada, Atria Books for a book I wont soon forget.
Was this review helpful?
The Golden Spoon is a cozy murder mystery set at a remote estate.

Over five days, six baking contestants will compete to win the Golden Spoon trophy and a coveted cookbook publishing deal. Betsy Martin has hosted the competition at her family estate for the last ten years. However, Betsy’s producers want to freshen things up, so they’ve arranged for a new cohost to join her. But there’s a storm coming, and not everyone will survive the week. 

This cozy mystery has multiple perspectives, including all the contestants and Betsy herself. The contestants had distinct personalities and backgrounds, but most of them still felt a bit bland and archetypal. 

Also, there was some repetitiveness, and the ending was spoon-fed to the reader. 

The writing reminded me of The Woman in the Library. So if you liked that one, you may have success with this book.

But all in all, this is a fun mystery to read in a sitting or two. I love watching or reading about competitions, and this book brought that element to life. 

I will definitely watch the adaptation whenever it releases. 

Thank you to Atria Books for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Delighted to include this title in the March edition of Novel Encounters, my regular column highlighting the month’s most anticipated fiction, for the Books section of Zoomer magazine. (see column and mini-review at link)
Was this review helpful?
While baking shows featuring beautiful cakes and pies may at first seem like wholesome, light entertainment for the whole family, The Golden Spoon will prove this wrong. Such a baking show could also take a terrible, dark turn: it could also become a crime scene. Strange things begin happening on set and secrets are revealed. Suddenly, things become a lot less sweet and a lot more sour.

I would consider The Golden Spoon a cozy mystery. There is nothing too creepy or gruesome in this story. I was unfortunately a bit underwhelmed as the plot did not stand out as unique compared to other mysteries I've read in the past year. I felt indifferent to the characters. I also felt that the ending was rushed and some details surrounding the murder remained fuzzy.

However, if you're looking for a rather quick read that won't give you nightmares if you're reading past your bedtime, this is a good book to pick up!

Read if you like:
🧁 Baking shows
🩸 A dark twist
🌲 Remote setting
πŸ‘» Creepy old mansions

⚠️ Potential Trigger Warnings: sexual abuse, power imbalance, bullying, murder (may not be an exhaustive list)

Thank you @netgalley and @simonschusterca for my free electronic copy of The Golden Spoon in exchange for an honest review.

Look for The Golden Spoon on your favourite bookstore's shelves on March 7, 2023!
Was this review helpful?
A murder mystery inspired by the Great British Bake Off? Yes PLEASE! The Golden Spoon was a fun romp that pulled me out of my February blahs - and had me turning the pages as fast as I could manage with a plate of cake in my other hand πŸ˜‚.

Perfect for fans of Only Murders In The Building and Janice Hallet’s The Appeal. Comes out March 7. Thanks for the great rec @meredith.reads! 
#GBBO #currentlyreadingpodcast #roxandmereread #murdermystery
Was this review helpful?
Firstly, can we talk about the cover?  Brilliant.  

Secondly, can we talk about the premise? Murder mystery set during a baking competition.  Also, brilliant.

Honestly, I’m surprised it took so long to have a fictional tale of murder and mayhem surrounding the cutthroat world of culinary competitions, but I’m just glad it’s finally arrived! Its clue meets British Bakeoff with a dash of Hell’s Kitchen thrown in.  

Every summer for the past ten years, six awe struck bakers have descended on the manor owned by the host of Bake Week, Betsy.  Author of numerous bestselling cookbooks and America’s Grandma, Betsy saves her warmth for the cameras.  And this year even that is proving difficult as the producers felt the need to add a bombastic guest host.  When little things start to go wrong in the early rounds, it’s beginning to look like sabotage.

If only that were all it was, there is a killer on the loose!

In addition to the cantankerous host, all the of contestants take turns at narrating and soon the reader will be trying to puzzle out all the twists and turns the story takes.

Warning: this delightful romp of a mystery will cause hunger pains.
Was this review helpful?
Besides for the slow beginning i absolutely loved this book,i liked knowing the characters and  the story itself. A definite recommend

A huge thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Atria Books for gifting me this title in exchange for an honest review!

all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Cozy mysteries for the win this winter. My recipe for beating the winter blues remains the same - a blanket, a cup of tea and a good cozy mystery. The Golden Spoon made me forget about everything else for a day, in the best way possible.

A TV baking competition being filmed at a secluded manor. A famous chef and the show's hostess, Betsy Martin herself has some competition in front of the cameras. Her co-host Archie does not align with her/show's brand in her eyes. She's also on double hostess duty as the show's 6 contestants stay at her estate for the duration of the filming. These home bakers of varied personalities and experience levels will have 5 days to win the ultimate prize - the title of Top Baker and The Golden Spoon. Strange things start happening as soon as the show starts filming and it seems there are plenty of secrets to go around. Competition just might end up being deadly for someone.

I just couldn't (and did not want to) put this one down. Pesky sleep interrupted. Otherwise it would've been a one sitting read for me. I got lost in the world of this competition and I genuinely enjoyed getting to know each one of the characters - yes, even the not so likeable ones. If you are looking for your next cozy read, look no more! The Golden Spoon is cozy entertainment at its best.
A word of warning for thrill seekers - I would not classify this as a thriller. I know it might matter to those among you who are mood readers like me.

A huge thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Atria Books for gifting me an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
It is the tenth season of "Bake off" and all of the contestants are excited.  This year a co-host will be joining "America's grandmother" Betsy Martin to try and give a new vibe to the show.  When prank-like things start happening during the bake-off people seem irritated, but then things change from harmless sabotage to death.

This is like a mix of Agatha Christie, Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series and the Great British Bakeoff.  It has the feeling of a cozy mystery and doesn't get too intense.  You get to know the characters, since the story is told from multiple points of view.  I couldn't decide who I was cheering on to win in the end. I really enjoyed this book and hope to see more stories from this author in the future.
Thank you to Net Galley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Atria Books for an ARC to review.
Was this review helpful?
Set in a mansion in Vermont, The Golden Spoon is a delicious escapist baking show mystery novel.  Six contestants vie for the coveted golden spoon and prizes on Baking Week on Flixer, hosted by celebrity baker Betsy Martin and Cutting Board host Archie Morris.  Some contestants are starstruck, others not.  But all are in it to win it for various reasons.  Competition is fierce and the hosts and contestants are not all as they appear.  Not only is murder on the menu but secrets and other shenanigans abound.

My favourite aspects are the various well-written individual points of view, food descriptions and slow burn.  I also like the chapter layouts.  Few characters are likeable but they needn't be to become engrossed in the story.  

Hungry for more?  The Golden Spoon should satiate your appetite if you enjoy baking tidbits with your mysteries.  

My sincere thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this fun debut novel.
Was this review helpful?
Although I am not a cooking OR reality T.V. show fan, when I heard that THE GOLDEN SPOON was recommended for fans of Nita Prose, I knew that I had to give it a try.

Overall, I enjoyed this slow-burn, "locked door" style mystery. I enjoyed that each chapter featured a different character, which helped me from getting too bored of all the "baking" plot lines. I did figure out main twist before it was revealed, but I still had fun finishing it! 

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for my #arc!
Was this review helpful?
'The Great British Bake-off' meets 'Clue'.
When I read the synopsis of this book, I was immediately hooked. Tragedy strikes at the beginning of the book, and we are launched "1 Week Earlier" to learn about the characters and the secrets they're keeping. "The Golden Spoon" is told from 7 POVs (the 6 contestants and the host, Betsey). I quickly learned that only 1 or 2 of those POVs really drove the story. The rest were interesting, but felt unnecessary. While the story felt long-winded at times and a bit predictable, Jessa Maxwell's story is well-written and easy to read. If you want a cozy mystery to read, this is a fun one.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting premise, - part competitive cozy-baking tv show, cleverly merged with an Agatha-Christie-like murder mystery. Like the characterizations it is based on, this book has a β€œfolksy niceness”, a clean demarcation of the main players, (each with their idiosyncrasies, secrets, and struggles), and a twisty plot to keep a reader both entertained and intrigued. 

As six bakers meet at a remote British mansion for a five-day baking competition, fans of β€œthe Great British Bake off” may find much here to enjoy as contestants and hosts alike align neatly with familiar, pleasant  (and perhaps the also uncomfortably unpleasant) recognizable show archetypes. 

A great big thank you to the publisher, the author and Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own. 

*** three and a half shiny stars
Was this review helpful?
What is better than a murder mystery meets a baking competition? Nothing. 
This debut novel was better than I could have ever expected. It was the best cozy mystery I have read in a long time. 
This gave me Great Canadian Bake Off meets Knives Out vibes, and I loved the multiple POV and the different storylines and how they all came together.
My only complaint, the epilogue. It felt almost unnecessary or like a second thought. 
For that reason alone, 4.5 stars rounded down to 4. 
Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Atria Books for the ARC eBook in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Golden Spoon - Although I'm not usually a mystery/thriller fan, I found this a somewhat cozy mystery read. Perfect with a cup of tea and a warm blanket.
Was this review helpful?