Book Review — The Maid by Nita Prose

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from Netgalley and Ballantine Books. This has not impacted my rating and this review is voluntary.

  • Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
  • Published by: Ballantine Books
  • Publish date: January 04, 2022
  • Number of pages: 304 pages
  • Author’s website: https://www.nitaprose.com/
  • Support local! Buy the book on BookShop!

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?

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.

Rating: 3/5

I found this book really charming and intriguing! A quirky-whodunnit told by a intriguing narrator. Perhaps my favorite part of this novel is the voice of the main character– the maid.

Molly is respectful and navigates life through guidelines set by her Gran. You really feel for this character and I couldn’t help noticing that she has some characteristics on the autism spectrum. However, it is never explicitly stated that she is neurodivergent so I won’t say so either.

I do think that this personally distracted from some of the plot, because I kept wondering this aspect of the main character. For example, where I could have empathized and understood more of her decision making and even seen the other characters motives better if I knew how they were treating her in relation to the way her brain works. I kept questioning how the police could so blatantly ignore this about Molly — but maybe it just highlights how the policy are ill-equipped handle different individuals. Perhaps that was the point– we don’t always know how someone’s brain works and terrible people will be terrible regardless of our abilities.

This aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! It was well paced, had unique characters, and a truly puzzling crime. I saw that this was optioned for a movie and I can’t wait to see if when it comes out!

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to know!

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