The Golden Spoon

Jessa Maxwell

The Golden Spoon
Penguin Books Ltd
United Kingdom
14 August 2023

The Golden Spoon

Jessa Maxwell

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 prize: 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.

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


One cannot describe The Golden Spoon without first comparing it to eating a chocolate lava cake: the outside is so neat, pristine, and perfectly preserved in shape, until you dig in and the darkness within pools out into an irreversible mess as thick as blood.

Every year, six amateur bakers have the chance for their dreams to come true if they win the coveted Golden Spoon on America’s favourite baking show, Bake Week. Betsy Martin, a celebrity chef and the famous host of the show, is ready to plaster on a smile and act the role of the warm, loving grandmother figure the nation thinks she is. Meanwhile, her own production crew are plotting her demise by bringing in the younger, enigmatic celebrity Archie Morris to co-host. This year should be just like any other, but the contestants each have their own motivation for wanting to win – and one of them wants revenge.

Set in Betsy’s ancestral home, Grafton Manor is as gorgeous and picturesque as it is haunted by the secrets of the past. With everyone on the show seeking to save their own skins, sabotage is afoot, and hidden skeletons are brought out of the closet. Then a body is discovered, and everyone watches to see who will hide their guilt the best, and who will break.

Jessa Maxwell has concocted the perfect recipe: the cosy familiarity of The Great British Bake-Off combined with the cleverness of an Agatha Christie novel. I was addicted to this creepy and enthralling tale from beginning to end, reading in shock at the lines some might cross to get what they want, and in awe at the power of food, which can evoke the strongest of emotions and bring the deepest of memories to light.

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