The Golden Spoon

S. & S. Audio. Mar. 2023. 8:37 hrs. ISBN 9781797153445. $19.99. M
Maxwell debuts with a light, traditional mystery set at Grafton Manor in rural Vermont. The mansion is home to a competitive-baking show filmed over the span of a week. The premise of the show, aptly titled Bake Week, dictates that six amateur-baker contestants live at Grafton Manor while filming, with one contestant being voted off each day until the winner is declared. In the opening scene, the manor’s owner and the show’s host, Betsy Martin, discovers a dead body in the show’s tented kitchen. The story then flashes back to the first days of that season’s filming, with behind-the-scenes sabotage, manipulative power-hungry staff, cohosts jockeying to be the star, and contestants snooping—all of which further complicate the question of whodunit. Character backstories are fleshed out and brought vibrantly to listeners through a talented ensemble of eight narrators; each gives voice to a different contestant, allowing listeners to become acquainted with their nuances and delectable secrets.
VERDICT Enhanced by its grand setting, strong characters, and superb narration, this audio is a delight. With a Hulu limited series in the future, listeners won’t want to pass this dish over.
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