by Nita Prose
Published January 4, 2022
by Ballantine Books
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Cozy Mystery
From The Publisher:
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
The Maid is delightful. It’s way more than just a mystery; it’s a portrait of a woman who is “different” and the struggles she has in understanding other people (their facial expressions, their slang, etc.). Molly works as a maid at a fancy hotel and she is probably the best, most reliable maid they’ve ever had. She takes true delight in returning every guest room to a “state of perfection.” She has recently lost her grandmother, who was the only person she really was close to. Molly is leery of other people because she once put her trust in a young man and was fleeced by him, so now she is in a precarious financial position. When she finds a very rich man dead in his hotel room and is accused of his murder, she gradually understands that she has been taken advantage of once again. How will she get out of being considered a suspect in the murder? You’ll have to read The Maid to find out!
I really enjoyed the story being told from Molly’s POV because you could really see how she looked at the world and interpreted/misinterpreted things.
This book marks Nita Prose’s debut (she’s an experienced editor, however) and it’s very impressive for a first novel.