The Maid by Nina Prose, 4 Stars

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.

Advanced Praise for The Maid:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • “A twist-and-turn whodunit, set in a five-star hotel, from the perspective of the maid who finds the body. Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Glamour, W magazine, PopSugar, The Rumpus, Book Riot, CrimeReads, She Reads

An endearing debut…. The Maid [has] real emotional heft.”THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“A smart, riveting, and deliciously refreshing debut.”LISA JEWELL New York Timesbestselling author of The Family Upstairs

“A masterful, charming mystery that will touch your heart.”ASHLEY AUDRAIN New York Timesbestselling author of The Push

My Review:

The first sentence in the book’s official marketing copy is: “Molly Gray is not like everyone else.” And it’s so true. And after the first chapter, you’ll be saying hooray! Because she’s not likely everyone else and she’s not like your normal literary heroine, and it’s so damn refreshing.

Molly’s brain works a little differently that your average everyday protagonist. In a lot of ways, her POV is naive, innocent unknowing, at times even a little ignorant. But as a character she is so believable and she just doesn’t care about the same things that other people do. And she’s okay with that. Take her job. Most people would view being a maid at a luxury hotel as a terrible job where they have to pick up after rich slobs.

But Molly? She loves her job! She loves walking into the elegant lobby everyday and takes great pride in cleaning the guests rooms better than anyone else on staff. Molly holds a servant’s heart which is rare (and truly needed) in this world.

The plot of the book centers around Molly finding a guest who has passed away. And the ensuing excitement that truly changes Molly’s life forever. The reader watches as Molly forges new relationships, falls victim to manipulators and ultimately does what she feels is the right thing.

The Maid is a great debut novel that brings a fresh and unique voice to fiction. Don’t believe me? Read an excerpt here.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye for more of Prose’s work in the future. Special thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now. Get your copy!


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