Book Review: “The Golden Spoon” by Jessa Maxwell

Cover of "The Golden Spoon" by Jessa Maxwell
Cover of “The Golden Spoon” by Jessa Maxwell

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “The Golden Spoon” by Jessa Maxwell!

Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“For six amateur bakers, competing in Bake Week is a dream come true.

When they arrive at Grafton Manor to compete, they’re ready to do whatever it takes to win the ultimate The Golden Spoon.

But for the show’s famous host, Betsy Martin, Bake Week is more than just a competition. Grafton Manor is her family’s home and legacy – and Bake Week is her life’s work. It’s imperative that both continue to succeed.

But as the competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s small acts of sabotage. Someone switching sugar for salt. A hob turned far too high.

But when a body is discovered, it’s clear that for someone in the competition, The Golden Spoon is a prize worth killing for…”

Character Development: 3 out of 5 stars

Peter was my favorite character, and the only completely nice one throughout the book. Sadly, because he gets eliminated first in the baking competition, the reader only gets to hear from him for one fifth of the book. He’s only mentioned again in the second-last chapter. This makes sense since he wasn’t involved in the murder taking place later in the book.

As for the rest of the characters, I enjoyed reading Gerald and Lottie. All the rest I either felt neutral toward or didn’t like in general. I enjoyed learning about the bonds some of the contestants and/or hosts shared with each other from behind the scenes. However, I didn’t think their personalities had much development, if any at all.

Plot Development: 3 out of 5 stars

“The Golden Spoon” is a fairly fast read. Its multiple chapters are short and take place in first-person point-of-view for the main characters involved. There are two exceptions. First, Archie never has a point-of-view. Second, Betsy’s point-of-view is in third-person.

I also want to add, without giving away spoilers, that in addition to this book having murder for obvious reasons, it also contains discussions of sexual assault as well. If you’re not comfortable with this content, you may want to avoid skipping this book.

I’m going to be honest – I immediately figured out who the killer – or rather, killers – were. I also immediately figured out why the victim was murdered, too. However, I was a little surprised that the murder was a tag-team effort, as opposed to a solo endeavor. The reveals made sense overall, but were predictable if you’ve read numerous murder mysteries. In my case, I’ve reviewed many of them.

Another part of the book I was disappointed by was that, despite the cover making one think that this will be a serious, cold-hearted mystery, the plot read like any standard cozy mystery to me. This is especially the case if you’ve read many food-related cozy mysteries. The only difference is that this book has multiple points of view and more twists than expected.

Overall, I’m rating this book 3 out of 5 stars!

This was a fine murder mystery to read, but despite the concept it’s not a huge standout. However, if you do like food-related mysteries, you might enjoy reading this one.

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