The Maid by Nita Prose

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 demeanour 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?

What I thought

A tremendous debut by Nita Prose, I was engaged from the moment I started reading until a few hours later when I read the final sentence of this cozy mystery novel. I barely noticed the time ticking by as I became wrapped up in this one sitting read.

And Molly Gray, what a wonderfully well written character. I had been so thrilled to meet Molly since reading about her on all the bestseller lists and social media posts boosting this book around the globe. I reached the end and felt like twenty-five-year-old Molly was a friend of mine, she was an absolute gem of a character, and oh so special she was. A memorable lead that will stay with readers long after reading. I was rooting for her throughout. Others have compared Molly to Eleanor Oliphant, and I couldn’t agree more, since Gail Honeyman’s protagonist has never left my mind despite having read the book a number of years ago.

I did wonder whether this book would live up to the hype, and have to admit that it definitely did for me. It’s one of those books that you’ll reach the end of and wish you could blink, forget about, and start from the beginning again.

The Maid is a short read, clocking in at under 300 pages. It’s perfect if you find yourself looking for something to perk you up on a rainy afternoon. Nita’s prose will whisk you away to another world, which is exactly what us readers can only hope for from the best novels.

Overall, The Maid was delightful. Lighthearted, layered, and written with passion and unique talent. It’s a must-read page turner that I’ll recommend to many.

One question for Nita Prose, when is your next novel coming out?

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Nita Prose is a longtime editor, serving many bestselling authors and their books. She lives in Toronto, Canada, in a house that is only moderately clean. Visit her website, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

The Maid is available to purchase in paperback format from Indigo and in e-book format from Kobo. Check Penguin Random House Canada for additional retailers.