Title: The Maid
Author: Nita Prose
Publication: January 4, 2022
Publisher: Ballantine Books
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
The Maid was labeled as a cozy mystery, which was a bit outside my usual reading. I love mystery novels, but I love when they are dark and gritty. I figured this one sounded interesting enough to give it a chance and I was not disappointed.
At first, Molly was a bit weird to read. Her demeanor and behavior definitely shows she is different, but not in a bad way. She is precise and doesn’t understand social cues the same. They never say, but I would guess maybe on the spectrum somewhere having personal experience. I quite liked her though. She is pretty blunt and says what she thinks because she doesn’t read social queues the same as most. Sometimes what she said had me laughing out loud because it was just so blunt the other people in the story didn’t react well. It was nice to read from a characters point of view that is different than most characters in a book. A breath of fresh air, if you will.
The story was also well organized and told. I love the attention to detail Prose used in descriptions and explanations. I loved the “gran always said” moments. I also had a fondness for many of the other characters and a hard suspicion about many as well. The point is, Prose drew out strong feelings regarding things in this book and I love when an author does that.
The ending wasn’t as shocking, as I saw who was the bad guy, but then the very end gave me a little enlightenment and I was mind blown. Molly is not as different as you’d think.
Either way, I quite enjoyed this book. The initial pick up was a little slow, but when it did get moving, it moved smooth and kept me interested. I look forward to reading more from Prose and encourage anyone who likes a nice clean, page-turning mystery to pick up The Maid now!