The Maid by Nita Prose

Meet Molly Gray. 25, lovable, intelligent and rather eccentric. Her mind is as organised as her maids trolley, she’s a stickler for routine, order and cleanliness, so working at the five star Regency Grand Hotel is the perfect job for her.

I’m not one for reading cosy mysteries, they can be a bit ‘twee’ for my tastes, but there is so much more to Molly than meets the eye. I got this feeling from reading just the synopsis. When my request was approved on NetGalley, the prologue reinforced my theory that this Molly character really had quite an edge.

“Have I mentioned how much I detest cheaters? Cheaters deserve to be thrown in quicksand and to suffocate in filth”.

I really enjoyed this closed (hotel!) room style murder mystery. Nita Prose created a dazzling hotel, the descriptions and scene settings were so easy to visualise. Inside the hotel, the array of characters were as colourful and as quirky as the hotel decor itself. From kind, gentle and caring, to acerbic, unlikeable and untrustworthy, The Maid had it all.

Molly lived with her Gran, but sadly she passed away, so Molly is left to deal with life and everything that’s thrown at her by herself. She finds interacting with people a little tricky and prefers to be blending in and doing her job rather than being the centre of attention.

Mollys world is tipped on its head in an instant when she discovers the dead body of hotel guest Mr Black, on the bed in one of the hotel rooms, and so the story takes off from there.

Mollys intelligence and unusual way of thinking things through is tip top entertainment from the word go. She maybe JUST a maid, but she’s not daft. Far from it.

“Cheryl may be my boss, but she’s definitely not my superior. There is a difference, you know”.

I enjoyed how Molly and her Grans relationship and their backstories were subtly weaved in throughout the story giving little nuggets of who they are and how they came to be.

“Where shall we travel tonight?” she (Gran) would ask. “To the Amazon with David Attenborough or to Japan with National Geographic?”

Molly went from delightful, model employee to a deep, dark thinker at the drop of a hat.

“…I fantasised about all the things I would do – spray bleach in her face, strangle her with a bathrobe tie…”

This is the main reason I loved this story as much as I did. Me and my dark heart, lapping up those macabre moments. I had lots of questions dancing around in my mind about what kind of person Molly truly was, and I wasn’t disappointed when things began to fall into place. I was rooting for her from the get-go.

The Maid is thoroughly enjoyable, completely believable and above all, a cracking murder mystery. I read that the film rights have been bought for it and an actor chosen already to play the part of Molly. That, I have got to see!!

Thank you so much to the publishers, Harper Collins, for my advance readers e-copy via the NetGalley platform, it was an absolute pleasure to read.

The Maid is out in January 2022.