Jump to ratings and reviews

Win a free print copy of this book!

9 days and 00:54:14

24 copies available
U.S. only
Rate this book

The Maid

Win a free print copy of this book!

9 days and 00:54:14

24 copies available
U.S. only
Rate this book
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.

Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780593356159.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published January 4, 2022

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Nita Prose

5 books2,863 followers
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 Nita at nitaprose.com, on Instagram @nitaprose or on Twitter @NitaProse.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
79,600 (24%)
4 stars
136,892 (42%)
3 stars
81,675 (25%)
2 stars
19,981 (6%)
1 star
4,556 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33,787 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,943 reviews291k followers
February 28, 2022
My brain is still having an argument with itself about this book.

Emily1: How is it no one in this book thought "hey, maybe Molly is acting so 'strange' because she's neurodivergent?"
Emily2: Could she not be neurodivergent? Maybe she just has some severe social issues. The author called her "socially-awkward" in an interview.
Emily1: Oh, please. She reads like someone googled "signs of autism".
Emily2: Maybe the author doesn't know these suggest autism. YOU didn't for a long time.
Emily1: *shifty eyes* And no one in the publishing process noticed either?
Emily2: Okay, let's say it's intentional. Maybe she... didn't want to label her?
Emily1: Pfft. Yeah, sure. Because "autism" or "neurodivergent" would be bad, scary words, whereas "quirky" is nice and cute and unthreatening?
Emily2: You didn't have a problem with Eleanor Oliphant and it's not mentioned there either.
Emily1: But it was believable to me that Eleanor was passing as eccentric-- Eleanor was so much like me that I didn't understand why others thought she was autistic when I first read it (I didn't know I was at the time) --not so much Molly. And it wasn't so damn quirky, so manic aspie dream girl.
Emily2: 'kay. Write your review, grouch.

I didn't find it to be like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, as some other readers did. Eleanor Oliphant was, I felt, quite a dark read with a few uplifting moments, whereas The Maid was often teeth-grindingly twee and quirky. This latter also didn't sit quite right with me.

The premise is that Molly, a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, one day finds one of the hotel's wealthiest guests dead in their bed. Looks like foul play, but who could have done it? Molly gets dragged deeper and deeper into the mystery until she herself starts to look guilty.

Many reviewers have described the protagonist, Molly, as neurodivergent or autistic, and I agree she does seem to be pretty much a checklist of stereotypes for autism, though the author either has not noticed this or is playing it very coy. Despite the modern setting, the characters in this book act like it's at least thirty years ago, scratching their heads at the "odd" Molly, jaws dropping when she behaves "weird". I could believe Eleanor Oliphant went through her life with undiagnosed autism (I related to her a lot and I didn't find out until my twenties) but I find it harder to believe with Molly.

Are there people like Molly? Sure there are. Autistic people are all so different that there must be a Molly somewhere. But the way the author used her to pop up and say something comically straightforward, the way her quirks resulted in ludicrous moments... I couldn't help feeling that the author was, as Molly would say, laughing at her, not with her.

It's not just Molly, though. Juan Manuel (a Mexican undocumented immigrant who ) is another character who seemed to verge too close to being the butt of the joke. The author writes him as naive, unintelligent and helpless. When both he and Molly find themselves in hot water, you can bet it's a couple of white neurotypical characters who save the day.

To be honest, though, it wasn't just the depiction of Molly and Juan, or the refusal to mention neurodivergence, that bothered me, but the whole tone of the book. The whole slightly farcical, whimsical nature of it. I have low tolerance for whimsy anyway, but it felt especially off in a book with a protagonist like Molly. Please let's not have a manic aspie dream girl subgenre.
Profile Image for Yun.
508 reviews18.9k followers
June 5, 2022
Not gonna lie, The Maid was a disappointment. After all the praises heaped on it, I'm not sure I read the same book as everyone else.

Molly loves order and cleanliness. It's a good thing she works as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, ensuring that every room is meticulously made up to her high standards. When she finds a dead body in one of her rooms, she's immediately the prime suspect. I mean, who would have more to gain from the death of a customer than a lowly maid?

If you're confused by this premise, you're not alone. It doesn't make any sense. Why would the maid be the prime suspect? But let's move on, because that seems to be the least of my problems with this book.

Where to even start? Clearly, Molly is supposed to be on the autistic spectrum. She has problems understanding social cues and reading others and is obsessed with cleanliness. Except she doesn't read like a fully-formed autistic person so much as a neurotypical author's fantasy of what a cutesy, loveable one should be.

She is depicted as essentially a precocious but dumb child. She is naïve to the point of incredulity. She is unable to understand the simplest of interactions, even when the other person is being direct. She bumbles around, sticking her foot in her mouth and acting as strange as possible to forward the plot of story. However, that's only when it suits the story. Other times, she has more insight than anyone else, even when it comes to things unsaid. Inconsistent much?

It's clear that the author cherry-picked the autistic characteristics that would best serve her story, then exaggerated them to the point of making Molly seem infantile, and created a whole plot out of it. So what's the problem? Well, there's something off about a neurotypical author crafting an adorably stupid but inauthentic autistic character, all for the sake of entertaining a predominantly neurotypical audience. In fact, it feels decidedly icky.

But it's not just Molly who is depicted as a dumb brick. What is up with Juan Manuel? Just because he's an immigrant doesn't mean he's stupid, but the book seems to equate the two. *facepalm* In fact, there is a simplicity and one-dimensionally, not to mention stereotyping, of every character in here that grated on my nerves.

I also have a problem with the story in general. It was so slow and hardly anything happens, I was bored most of the time. There is so much filler, with lots of passages on cleaning and reminiscing of the past. Every development is spelled out in so much detail, just in case the reader is dumb too. The actual plot is straightforward and probably could've been told in 50 pages. And the end was just ludicrous, with a few "twists" thrown in for shock factor, even though they don't make sense for the story or the characters.

However, not all is bad. Every time someone wrongs Molly and she figures it out, she'll wish evil things on them in the most creative and explicit fashion. And those few gems totally made me chuckle. So I'll give an extra star for that.
Profile Image for JanB .
1,126 reviews2,267 followers
February 18, 2022
Unpopular opinion time!

Molly is a maid at the Regency Grand, an upscale hotel. Her attention to detail and love of cleanliness and order makes this a perfect job for her. Molly is neurodivergent, although it is not given a name.

When she finds Mr. Black, a long-term resident of the hotel, dead in his bed, the police investigate and Molly is their prime suspect. There are some dark secrets at the hotel, but, luckily for her, she has friends who help her sort things out.

One of my major issues with the story is how Molly is depicted. At one moment she is clueless, and another she is quite astute in deciphering the underlying message and unspoken nuances of social interactions. Molly also tells us a lot about her condition instead of showing us, and her actions were not always consistent with her character.

Eleanor Oliphant seems to have started the trend toward characters who are not neurotypical, and she remains the best. I loved Eleanor’s snark and humor, which was missing in this story. However, there are some delightful characters here, especially Molly’s Gran who helps Molly navigate the world with her pithy truisms, and Mr. Preston, the hotel’s doorkeeper, who assists in clearing Molly’s name. I also loved the references to Columbo, a TV show she often watched with her Gran, and her “tour of Italy” at Olive Garden was cute. None of this was enough to carry the story.

Unfortunately, the author felt a need to throw in a kitchen sink of social issues along the way, which took away from the charm of the story. Illegal immigration, domestic abuse, drug running, euthanasia, with the latter being the most egregious and out of character. I suspect it was added as an agenda of the author's. She should have restrained herself.

Unfortunately, stereotypes abound in the minor characters, especially the maid staff, and the ridiculous side story about an illegal immigrant was eye-rolling and offensive.

The courtroom scenes were silly. Then there was the ending. I don’t mind a twist in a book, but not when I find out Molly was sitting on information throughout the book that identified the murderer, information she kept from the police and the reader. There were no clues along the way, and when all was revealed at the end by Molly, it made me want to throw the book across the room..

This was a buddy read with my friend Marialyce. We both prefer little more edge and realism in our stories. I found much of this book boring and a slog to get through. If I want to read a cozy, I'll stick to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

It wasn’t for us, but many readers loved it, so do please read their reviews. It’s been optioned for a movie, but it's one I'll skip.

• I received a digital copy via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
• Publication date January 4, 2022 by Ballantine Books
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,124 reviews39.1k followers
March 21, 2023
Don’t you dare to miss this book and celebrate its publishing day! This is FREAKING GOOD! 🥳🍾🎈

This is fabulous! Absolutely marvelous! Entertaining, smart, riveting combination of cozy mystery, dark comedy and thriller with intriguing whodunnit vibes!

And the most amazing news I got is this brilliant debut will be adapted into movies and one of my favorite actresses Florence Pugh will play Molly! Yesssssssss! They couldn’t make a better choice!

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you one of the most unique, original, quirky character you’ve ever met! Molly the Maid! She was one of a kind!

Molly, 25 years old, proud maid of 5 star boutique hotel Regency Boutique Hotel, having poor social skills, struggling to interpret the people’s intentions which puts her in awkward situations.

The people call her Molly The Mutant, Roomba the Robot, The Formality Freak behind her back.
But she keeps her head high as her lovely Gran- her only family who raised and took care of her- told and doing meticulous, impeccable job. Her fixation to clean things till they glow help her exceed the expectations of her employers!

Everyday of work is joy to her. She loves cleaning, she loves her maid’s trolley and she loves her uniform. She was born to do this job!

But now her gran passed away. And her Fabarge account was siphoned by a conman. And these are not the worst problems of hers.
She finds the wealthiest and highly important hotel customer Mr. Black lying dead on his bed and she becomes the prime suspect.

How and why? Social disconnected, lonely, good hearted Molly cannot hurt a fly! Yes, she trusted wrong people and believed in their lies. Yes, her peculiar perception misdirected her but she has to find a way to prove her innocence and she has to dig more to find what kind of dangerous operations have been conducting at her work place.

Luckily Columbo episodes she watched with her Gran can help her seeing things at different way to fix the puzzle. And thankfully she loves puzzles way too much!

This is absolute delight, incredible debut, remarkable characterization and well developed, unputdownable story! Molly Gray already became one of my all time favorite characters!

I laughed out loud so much! This is pure joy and great combination of dark comedy and smart mystery! I cannot wait to watch it on the big screen! And I cannot wait to read future works of Nina Prose! She has one of the brilliant minds with excellent story telling skills!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group/ Ballentine for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
387 reviews3,123 followers
February 18, 2023
What a stunning debut novel!

Molly Grey, a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, discovers a guest, Mr. Black dead in bed. Who is responsible for the crime and will Molly go down just for being a bit different?

Debut author, Nita Prose, should be very proud of The Maid. The prose is easy-to-read and entertaining. The author had a perfect cast of characters, not too many. The Maid is perfect for fans of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Nighttime" where Molly lives by a certain set of rules.

Overall, a delightful cozy mystery.

*Thanks, NetGalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

Connect With Me!
Blog Twitter BookTube Facebook Insta
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :) (on hiatus).
975 reviews2,641 followers
December 10, 2022

I absolutely fell in love with Molly Gray! She is one of the most unique, delightful and charming characters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in a novel! The entire novel is narrated by Molly and what a joy to get to know her. She reminded me of all of the “invisible” people who are often overlooked.

Molly is 25 years old and was raised by her dear Gran who passed away a few months ago. She is feeling somewhat adrift but she has her routines at home and a job that she loves to carry her through the days.

Being a maid is what Molly always wanted, she takes great pride in working at The Grand Regency Hotel. She enjoys coming into work and having her clean, crisp uniform hanging in her locker. She loves her trolley on which she always arranges the little soaps, shampoos and other items in meticulous fashion.

Molly is a bit different than others her age, she sometimes has a hard time interpreting things that people say, she takes everything literally. In turn she always speaks how she feels which can be off putting to some.

Molly has been befriended by Rodney, the bartender and she takes this friendship to mean something more than it is. When he asks her for a favor she is quick to respond. She doesn’t understand that everyone isn’t as honest and open as she is.

Molly’s world is turned upside down the day that she enters Mr. Black’s room and finds him dead. SHE IS SO SHOCKED THAT SHE FAINTS; when she comes to she calls for help, describing how she found Mr. Black.

As you can imagine what follows is very confusing and disorienting for Molly. She finds herself accused of the MURDER OF MR. BLACK and there is evidence that she may be guilty!! Lead detective Spark is quick to suspect Molly, she is young and HAS A LOT TO LEARN!!

Gran’s words come to Molly often and she is reassured by them. Gran had always told her “DEAR GIRL . . .DO NOT FRET YOURSELF INTO A TIZZY. LIFE HAS A WAY OF SORTING ITSELF OUT”.

This mystery is multi-layered, intricate and surprising. Just when you think you know all about Molly, there are some surprises in store!!!!!

There are many other characters in the novel, some incredibly kind and others nefarious. Mr. Preston, the doorman, is thoughtful and caring, and his daughter Charlotte, an attorney, comes to Molly’s aid when she needs it most.

It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel!! Nita Prose has been a long time editor and has learned the craft well. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!! I can highly recommend this book to EVERYONE!!!!!!
Profile Image for Elle.
584 reviews1,289 followers
November 27, 2022
Now a Goodreads Choice Nominee in Mystery & Thriller and Debut Novel 🤨

Mmmmmm yeah, no. This was not good. I did not enjoy it at all, and I recommend it to nobody. Okay that’s the review, bye!!!!!

Lol yeah, maybe one day I’ll be the person who can just rate and move on but today is not that day! And I am not that guy.

As of now, I can see I am in the minority opinion. It wasn’t far into The Maid before I realized this wasn’t going to be a positive experience for me. But I’d like to give a shout out to Jan B’s review for bringing up a lot of things I was thinking while reading, and to Chelsea who lets me complain to her uninhibited. As a BOTM pick, a book slated for adaptation and an author who is a publishing executive, this one’s gonna have a lot of eyes on it, and I want to make sure there are perspectives present beyond the flurry of glowing reviews.

The premise of The Maid is such: a hotel maid who is “different” from other people discovers the dead body of one of the hotel’s wealthiest patrons, foul play suspected. She gets further dragged into the fray and unintentionally incriminates herself, all while misreading what should be “obvious” social cues. There’s murder, money, drugs, off-page violence and ~mystery~ all wrapped in something meant to be somewhere between a cozy mystery and a genre thriller.

The plot itself is fine, though nothing we haven’t seen before. Instead, what’s carrying the story is the titular Molly the Maid, set up as a lovable underdog that just gets in over her head. She works hard! She is a good person! She tries her best! And she LOOOOOVES to clean!!!!!!! Clearly this is meant to be cute and charming.

But Molly is also written as neurodivergent in some never-specified way. I’ve seen a couple of weird arguments by people saying the author has not confirmed this, but she doesn’t have to. I read it; the writing is not exactly subtle. And I did not love the way she was depicted at all, to be totally honest. I can only guess that Nita Prose was trying to capitalize on that ‘quirky female main character who whoopsie-daisies her way into some trouble’ trend from like 5ish years ago. And frankly, she missed the boat. This isn’t a fresh, compelling character idea—and in the case of The Maid, it wasn’t even well done.

Listen, I understand the intent behind a character like this. I’m not saying it’s necessarily offensive, but it sure as hell isn’t cute. And the idea of a gaggle of privileged, upper-middle class book club women reading and gigging at a character like Molly being framed for murder because she ‘doesn’t understand how people work’ makes me feel kind of weird. Molly appears as a caricature, dreamed up by someone who’s only exposure to ND people has been Rain Man and Eleanor Oliphant.

As others have noted, Molly’s qualities aren’t very consistent. They wax and wane depending on the need of the story. She doesn’t understand what a rumba is or can’t tell if someone is smiling or not, but then is effectively spouting off complex behavioral analysis a few chapters later. The situations she finds herself in are beyond ludicrous, and the way she inevitably gets out of them even more ridiculous. And Molly isn’t the exception to bad characterizations. Every single other person, from the villain(s), to the fumbling police, to the rest of the hotel staff—are all cartoonishly portrayed.

There’s probably more subtext I’m missing, with the two additional POC maids and the undocumented kitchen employee (I’m sorry, where is this supposed to take place again? The UK?? Is there a large number of undocumented Mexican immigrants working at British hotels that I’m unaware of???). Because this book isn’t about the challenges of operating in a neurotypical world or the difficulties of navigating a new country while undocumented, but instead those are just secondary stumbling blocks on the road to figure out who murdered this rich white guy. And I don’t feel as though Molly and Juan Manuel were treated with care, but instead a kind of passive cruelty.

That said, the biggest offense for me though? This was boring as hell. I couldn’t read more than a dozen or so pages at a time, despite how short it was. I have genuinely no idea how or who chooses which mystery/thrillers to acquire, let alone adapt, but they need to have the company checkbook taken away immediately. Anything present in the story that was out of the ordinary was equal parts absurd and dumb, and anything remotely passable has been done a thousand times already. Seriously someone, anyone, clue me in to what was so compelling about this meditation on why ‘ummm service workers actually LOVE cleaning and waiting on our every whim?!’ with a side helping of murder. I’m literally begging you.

I’ll refrain from ending spoilers even though I don’t think it’s worth reading, but that big ‘twist’ was so obvious while also being completely unnecessary. It cheapened every bit of plot up to that point, though by then it was mostly a lost cause for me.

one additional note:

Anyways, someone please call Florence Pugh’s agent and have her pull out of this ASAP. I’m having war flashbacks of Maddie Ziegler and Kate Hudson in Sia’s MUSIC. 😐

*Thanks to Random House - Ballantine for the advance review copy!

**For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,063 reviews2,662 followers
April 10, 2022
The Maid by Nita Prose

"Molly, the Maid" is different. She's always been the subject of taunts, jeers, stares, ridicule and cruelty. The ability to read social cues, intentions, expressions, or to even understand words in a non literal sense is foreign to her. But she's always had her grandmother to explain those things to her and to interpret the events of her day, so that she could move forward, slowly learning to negotiate people and situations, gradually adding some clarity to the puzzles of interacting with people.

Molly loves her job as a maid for Regency Grand Hotel. She is able to put to use all the rules her Gran has taught her. And she excels at remembering every training mantra that Mr. Snow has uttered in his group training sessions for the hotel employees. Rules and mantras have served Molly well for the most part. She has been taken advantage of in a costly way, in the past, so life is harder now. First, with the loss of finances and then with the death of Gran. Now Molly is alone for the first time, barely getting any joy out of her job or home routines. Gran was her life, her mentor, protector, friend, and family.

But things have gotten interesting at work. She's walked into the hotel suite of wealthy Mr. Black, to find him dead. As she tries to negotiate the police investigation, she finds herself the chief suspect in his murder. It is now that she will find out who has her best interests in mind and who has been taking advantage of her different way of seeing life. This is a sweet story that imparts many lessons, if we are willing to listen and learn. Molly is so much more than most people think, if they even see her in her "invisible" occupation as a hotel maid.

Pub: January 4th 2022

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
778 reviews12.2k followers
June 18, 2021
A State of Perfection

“I am your maid. I know so much about you. But when it comes down to it: what is it that you know about me.”

The Maid is a compelling and quirky mystery about the death of a prominent hotel guest and the maid who finds his body.

25-year-old Molly Gray is proud to be a maid at The Grand Regency Hotel. She finds pleasure in returning hotel rooms back into states of perfection. Cleaning brings her joy, which has been lacking in her life since her Gran died several months ago. Molly enjoys her job--not only because she is good at it, but also because it allows her to be invisible, enabling her to see the guests and the workers at the Regency Grand in a different way. Molly doesn’t understand all that she sees, as she sees the world in a different way than others.

“Freak. Robot. Roomba. Awkward. Standoffish. Neat freak. Weirdo.” These are the words that some of Molly’s co-workers use to describe her. Molly is different, and her difference is not something they understand, so they label her as someone less than. Thankfully, there are a few good eggs in the mix who see Molly for who she is.

The mystery of the murdered hotel guest was interesting, but it in no way is the reason to read this book. Molly Gray, a.k.a Molly Maid, is the star of The Maid.

Narrated solely by Molly, the reader gets a glimpse of Molly’s world through her eyes. Molly’s character is refreshing. I loved her voice, and as Molly would tell you, she has a way with words. We learn about the intricacies of returning a room to a state of perfection and how the orderly nature of clearing helps calm and guide her in a disorderly world. We learn how she feels invisible, how she is lonely, and how she struggles to connect with others. I enjoyed reading Molly’s reflections on the wonderful woman who raised her. Her relationship with her Gran is my absolute favorite and had me in tears.

In addition to Molly, there is a lovely cast of characters, with a few scoundrels mixed in. The voice of her deceased Gran is heard throughout. There is also Mr. Preston and Juan Manuel, amongst others, who make an impact on Molly.

Touching on themes of difference, invisibility, identity, and voice, as well as friendship, love, and family, I absolutely loved this book! Molly is a character that I will not forget anytime soon. This is my first 5-star read of 2o21 (it's about time)!

“The more you live, the more you learn. People are a mystery that can never be solved. Life has a way of sorting itself out. Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing/Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
526 reviews57.6k followers
January 15, 2023
Once again, the Goodreads Choice Awards winner for Mystery/Thriller is mediocre...

I don't understand how this won but I rarely agree with the winner in this category.
The plot was fine but way the character is described felt condescending. The author never labels her as autistic/neurodivergent but it's clear that this is what she was going for.

(2.5) I didn't hate it but I'll forget all about it soon.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
380 reviews1,613 followers
July 14, 2022
Molly is a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel.
She feels that she is different. She has problems with social skills.
She can offend people when she means to compliment them. She says wrong things at the wrong time.
Its only because of her Gran that she knows a smile doesn't necessarily mean that they are happy. She understands that sometimes people smile when they are laughing at you. Her Gran always gave her pointers to make her life more easier. She is always the last person invited to a party. She also feels that she makes awkward conversations. She feels that when she wears her uniform that she can be anyone.
Her Gran died a few months ago.

When Molly went into Mr. Black's room to clean it. She thought he was napping. Then she notices that there is a medication bottle on the bedside table that had fallen and blue pills spilled onto the table and onto the floor and were crushed into the carpet.
She tries to wake up Mr. Black and notices that he is dead. She calls the front desk and introduces herself and lets the person know that she works housekeeping and to contact Mr. Snow to let him know that Mr. Black who is in the penthouse and is in Suite 401 is very dead. Dead in his bed. Have him call emergency services immediately. Molly is terrified and the police thinks she could be a suspect.

I just adored Molly! I loved how her Gran gave her pointers that helped her have a more simple life. There was just so much meaning behind this story. I felt that her job as a maid in the Regency Grand Hotel gave Molly a lot of confidence in herself. She loved to clean and she loved her job.
"The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different.
This is a cozy mystery and it is my favorite cozy mystery that I have ever read.
I highly recommend this book to those who loved Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely fine. Molly and Eleanor are both quirky characters that you will love. I loved Molly as much as I loved Eleanor.

I want to thank Netgalley and Ballantine Books for the copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Available Now
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,910 reviews35.3k followers
January 10, 2022
Audiobook….read by Lauren Ambrose
…. 9 hours and 35 minutes

Absolutely ENDEARING!!!!!!
Molly is a properly charming protagonist …..


It’s a treasure for every type of reader—

Molly Gray, twenty-five years old, presumably high functioning Autistic …..
not only stands out as ‘Maid-of-the-Year’…..but quite possibly humanitarian- character-of-the-year!

Molly’s beloved grandmother-Gran-
was Molly’s sole caretaker until she died (about 9 months before the story begins).
Molly tells us (and paints a wonderfully inspiring visual)… about the relationship they shared.
Gran was one of those incredible rare human beings that successfully passed on moral integrity to Molly —
Gran’s teaching was with love and gentleness.
We can see the ‘grand’ benefits through the type of person Molly is.

The dialogue is tenderly sweet…but not sugary-sweet.

There is a ‘slightly-suspenseful’ murder-mystery to uncover at the fancy Regency Grand Hotel….
[Mr. Black is found dead in his bed by Molly]
Molly becomes the prime suspect….
but……we readers know better!!
There are so many other treasures besides the crime — it won’t really matter if readers figure out who the rotten egg murderer is or not.

It’s a book for ***everyone***…
much to cherish regardless if readers can’t articulate ‘why’
they love it so much….
…readers will…
…readers have…
…I have…
…fallen in love with Molly Gray!!!

The delightful stylistic prose is tastefully irresistible!!!!!

It’s only January….but I can almost guarantee ‘The Maid’ will go down as one of the best books of the year.

“The Maid” cleans, sanitizes, polishes, repairs, and “clears-the-smears” ……
allowing the simple traits of a truly good person to shine.

Highly recommended!!!
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,103 reviews1,732 followers
January 4, 2022
Good Golly, Miss Molly!

This was probably my favorite "COZY" ever!

Twenty-Five year old Molly Gray is not like everyone else-she struggles with social skills and misinterprets the intentions of others. Since her Gran died a few months ago, she no longer has anybody to help her navigate the challenges she faces, but she has learned her lessons well including those picked up while watching every episode of "Columbo" over and over again with Gran.🕵🏼‍♂️

Who knew THOSE would come in handy?

Molly is employed as a maid at the Regency Grand, a 5 Star boutique hotel that prides itself on "sophisticated elegance and proper decorum for the modern age." and with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, she is just the person to return the guest rooms to a "state of perfection".

She loves changing into her her crisp, clean uniform each morning, and stocking the maid's trolley with the little soaps that smell of orange blossoms and the tiny Crabtree & Evelyn shampoos. It is pleasing to leave a room pristine and to slip out without a trace-she doesn't mind being invisible.

Unfortunately, her orderly world is about to be "turned on its head" when she finds guest Mr. Black, "dead in his bed" and the Police make Molly their prime suspect!

She will need the help of her friends to clean up this mess, but who can she trust?

If you are looking for your next endearing character to root for-you have found her!

Molly is the definition of her favorite word-delightful-and I felt anxious for her as I was reading this and more and more people took advantage of her trusting heart!❤️

This charming COZY mystery by DEBUT author Nita Prose is NOW AVAILABLE!! Read it before watching the MOVIE version snapped up by Universal Studios, starring Florence Pugh.

Thank You to my friend Susan for buddy reading this with me so early!! Be sure to check out her wonderful review as well! 🥰

And a BIG Thank You to Ballantine Books for granting my wish to read a very early gifted copy, provided through NetGalley. it was my pleasure to offer a candid review!
Profile Image for Liz.
1,959 reviews2,405 followers
October 28, 2021
Five big stars, one of my favorites of 2021
This debut novel brings a unique perspective to a murder mystery. Molly is the maid in a boutique luxury hotel. One afternoon, she stumbles across the corpse of one of their frequent guests. It would appear that Molly is somewhere on the autism spectrum. She definitely sees things in a black and white fashion and her sense of morality is based on her now deceased Gran’s common sense edicts. “She was clever. She believed in the three E’s - Etiquette, Elocution, and Erudition. She taught me a lot. Everything, in fact.” In fact, the world could use a lot more Grans in it.
The story is told completely from Molly’s POV. I got totally wrapped up in how Molly sees the world and her place in it. She’s proud to be a maid, to wear the uniform and create a pristine environment. The story is heartwarming (a word I typically don’t think of when describing a mystery), with a lovely sense of humor. It also touches on larger issues - personal worth and identity, invisibility and trust.
I just wanted to wrap my arms around Molly in a hug and wrap my hands around the necks of those that took advantage of her trust and desire for friendship. Thank heavens it turns out she does have a few real friends.
The ending was absolutely perfect.
Nita Prose is a long time book editor and it shows. There wasn’t a word out of place. The writing was enchanting (I adored Molly’s way of speaking) and the pace of the book struck just the right chord. I was thrilled to learn the story is being turned into a movie.
My thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Joey R..
235 reviews295 followers
January 26, 2022
1.5 stars — I don’t know what I was expecting from “The Maid”, but I definitely wasn’t expecting what I just finished reading. The main character, Molly, works as a maid in an exclusive hotel and to say she takes great pride in her work is an understatement. I never could invest in Molly because it was hard to tell whether she was intellectually disabled, autistic, or just plain strange. I finally settled on “just plain strange” due to the fact Molly goes from continuously repeating annoying sayings, incessantly talking about the Olive Garden and completely misreading every situation she finds herself in at the beginning of the story, to being a mastermind of reading criminal behavior and determining which pertinent information to omit in speaking with seasoned criminal investigators and lawyers at the end of the book. With such an uneven portrayal it was hard to know how to feel about Molly. I started thinking of her as a cross between Forrest Gump and Adam Sandler’s “Waterboy” because of how much she relied on and quoted her Grandmother in key situations. The rest of the characters are so shallow and poorly realized they bring nothing to the story. To say that the underlying mystery, the character development and truthfully, the entire plot were underwhelming is an understatement. I have read so many good books this year, I guess I had to read a clunker eventually.
Profile Image for Kerrin .
282 reviews233 followers
March 17, 2022
Now Available.
Good STORY - in spite of the legal procedural mistake.

The Maid by Nita Prose is narrated by Molly Gray, a 25-year-old maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Molly knows she is different from most people. While it is never stated, she is most likely on the spectrum. She loves her job and the order it gives to her life. She enjoys being one of the invisible people amongst the guests of the hotel. Unfortunately, Molly doesn’t understand social clues. She was bullied as a child, and now many of her co-workers say cruel things about her. She is wise enough to know that sticks and stones often hurt far less than words.

Molly was raised by her beloved Gran, who passed away about six months earlier. While deceased, Gran is still an integral part of this story. Without Gran’s love and guidance, Molly is truly on her own in a world that is difficult for her to navigate. Unfortunately, Molly is befriended by several people who use her for the wrong reasons. At times, it was stressful hearing Molly’s ignorant bliss when describing what was happening to her.

Molly’s world is upended when she discovers a wealthy guest, Mr. Black, dead in his room. Since she is so gullible, it was easy to set her up for the murder. Friends who she didn’t know she had helped her through this difficult situation.

I really wanted to give this book 5-stars and would have except for a BIG MISTAKE made by the author. During a criminal trial, the author has a criminal defense attorney who formerly represented one of the witnesses, asking questions during the trial. That is ridiculous! The only attorneys who can ask questions during a criminal trial are the prosecutor and the accused defendant’s attorney. Witnesses have never been allowed to have their own attorneys participate. That applies to both the United States and Canada, where the author lives.

3.5 stars rounded down due to the lack of simple legal research by the author. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, nor is ignoring the law for dramatic effect acceptable. Also because Molly's behavior was inconsistent at times

Thank you to #NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books for my advanced reader copy. This novel will be published on January 4, 2022.
Profile Image for Jenny Lawson.
Author 12 books16.9k followers
January 5, 2022
I loved this book so much that it's my pick for January for my Fantastic Strangelings Bookclub. Very quirky and heart-warming for a murder mystery. Love how it explores themes of invisibility. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews2,833 followers
January 4, 2022
Now available! (Oh, and my crystal ball was correct. The Maid was just announced as the January pick for Good Morning America's GMA Book Club.)

The prevailing thought I had while immersed in The Maid is that this is the book people who didn’t like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine wanted to read. If Eleanor’s corners were just a little too sharp, The Maid’s make for a nice, squishy alternative.

Like Eleanor, the titular maid, Molly Gray, is socially awkward in an eccentric, unlabeled way and leads a pretty solitary existence. Her dear Gran has just died, but she carries on with her dedication to her job as a fancy hotel housekeeper. She delights in returning each guest room to its previous state of perfection!

Then one day, wouldn’t you know it, she finds a dead body in one of the suites. Before you can say feather duster five times fast, Molly gets caught up in the police investigation as a witness and potential suspect. Cozy, upbeat mystery ensues!

The Maid is really a delightful read, and I don’t have a negative thing to say about it. I don’t think I loved it quite as much as many of my trusted reviewer pals, but I’m sure I’ll be recommending it to people at least as often as I have my recently-acquired Bissell CrossWave All-in-One Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vac.

While I’d like to thank the author and Ballantine Books for providing an advance copy of The Maid to review via NetGalley, I would NOT like to thank Bissell seeing as how I had to shell out some big-ass cash for that kick-ass vac myself.

Oh, and the expected US publication date of The Maid is January 4, 2022. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that this early-month timing is set to coincide with the announcement of the novel as a celebrity book club pick. What say you, crystal ball?

Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/
Profile Image for Melissa (So Far Behind!).
4,518 reviews1,721 followers
January 11, 2022
Really delightful book, loved Molly and the entire experience. Impressive debut novel from a Canadian author.

Molly Gray is a quirky gal, likely on the autism spectrum as she doesn't really get the nuances of social interaction and misinterprets the intentions of others more often than not. She's a maid at an upscale hotel and takes extreme pride in her adherence to cleanliness standards. She's 25 and all alone in the world after her Gran died from pancreatic cancer. One day she discovers a regular guest dead in his bed, and a series of events and misunderstandings lead the police to mistakenly accuse Molly of the crime. How can she convince them that she was just doing her job?

Molly is just a heartwarming character, she is so sincere in her efforts to do the best at her job. I loved the mystery of this tale, of trying to figure out who killed Mr. Black and why. But I also enjoyed the mystery of untangling what exactly is going on at the hotel through both Molly's eyes and the eyes of others around her.

This book reads in part like a cozy mystery, but it's certainly a smart cozy with absolutely endearing characters. Molly is fairly complex because although she greatly misinterprets the intentions of others (making her the target of ridicule and bullying many times), she also has an uncanny knack for seeing through the deception of others, much to their dismay. I loved this debut and can't wait to read what Nita Prose comes up with next.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
618 reviews1,482 followers
January 4, 2022

Looking for the perfect maid? Look no further than Molly. Unfortunately, she only works out of a luxurious hotel...and she’s about to get herself into a bit of a pickle when she finds a dead guest.

Molly isn’t like other 25-year old women. She is a perfectionist when it comes to her job, but doesn’t know the social normalities that many do. Coworkers find her eccentric and straight up weird. She takes everything literally, and responds in the same way...which can be socially repellent.

So imagine when she finds the dead body of Mr. Black when she is cleaning his room. She is questioned, gives literal answers that don’t make sense to detectives and staff, laughs inappropriately while reminiscing about a joke, etc.

Molly soon finds herself at the center of a murder investigation, but there’s no way she would kill anyone...so why is she quickly becoming a person of interest?

This is a cozy mystery with depth, and Molly is truly a memorable character that you can’t help but love. Just check the other reviews for proof. The scandalous mystery and its players aren’t that shocking, and yet it is fun figuring everything out through Molly’s POV. It was a joy to see her blossom throughout the 1-week timeframe. This provided laughs, intrigue, and a locked room-style mystery where anyone could be guilty.

The last 25% is unputdownable (ok, the whole thing basically is!!) as Molly forms unlikely alliances. It truly brought me much joy, and I think every reader is going to love her.

4.5 stars, because I loved everything about it until the epilogue, where a few revelations didn’t ring true with the characters and their actions. Other than that, this is a complete winner and the cast of characters are faboosh!

Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 1/4/22.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for jessica.
2,505 reviews30.8k followers
July 31, 2022
cosy mystery is the only way describe this story. its not at all what i was expecting when i picked this up, but its what i got and im okay with that. it provided some low key sleuthing that allowed me to sit back and chill while the characters did their thing.

and i will say that you will either love the MC or hate her. i personally found molly to be tediously wholesome. her character is a bit inconsistent at times but, overall, i thought she was an interesting narrator and suited the tone of the cosy mystery that this story was. nothing extremely high stakes or thrilling, but genuinely thoughtful - just like molly.

however, there was one thing that kept bringing me out of the story and im not sure if its the authors fault or the editors. and i dont remember it ever being specifically mentioned, but i could honestly never tell where this story is supposed to be set - in the US or the UK? like, the characters use british phrases, yet the story mentions US cities, stereotypes, and police work, but again everyone acts very british. to make it even more confusing, i just read that the author is neither - shes canadian! lol. so definitely some mix up when it comes to setting the scene and characterisation. i doubt anyone else was bothered by this, but it always took me right out of the story when i came across these continuity errors.

but regardless, this is still an entertaining story and decent debut!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
798 reviews1,796 followers
January 20, 2022
A delightful, cozy crime mystery !

It is light and humorous with lovable characters (as well as a scoundrel)!

I simply adored Molly Gray (Molly Maid)! She felt "alive" every time she arrived at the Regency Grand Hotel (a five star boutique hotel) where every day of work was a joy to her!

Molly knows that others may see her as a lowly person, but she is ever so thankful for her job. She even pinches herself daily! She is alone now that her Gran has passed away and since she is socially challenged, she depends on the lessons her wise Gran taught her like, "Never mind what others think; it's what you think that matters."

One morning Molly is busy cleaning and following her motto of "Never leave a mess to be discovered by a guest." when she finds a guest very dead in his bed.

The Maid was a perfect escape, part quirky rom-com, part classic who dunnit . Molly is naive and quirky, and may win your heart.

Thanks to the publisher and NG for granting my wish! OUT on Jan 4, 2022
Profile Image for Linda.
1,192 reviews1,240 followers
October 13, 2021
Blind Spots......

We all have them. We see the world through varying perspectives. Sometimes we walk past the obvious. Sometimes we fail to interpret the dark areas that fester within the gardens of other people's intentions.

Nita Prose will introduce us to one of the most endearing main characters as of late. Molly Gray is like the wee little tenacious flower that manages to grow within the crack of the sidewalk. She's a twenty-five year old maid working at the prestigious Regency Grand Hotel with its breath-taking Art Decco features now for over four years. Molly believes in leaving each room in the "State of Perfection" with nary a fingerprint or smudge on any surface.

Our Molly was raised by her grandmother after her mother left. Gran's sayings and mannerisms can be quoted by Molly in a heartbeat. It's been nine months since Gran passed away and Molly feels the loss every minute of every day. Gran kept Molly centered and focused. Molly's lack of identifying social cues and her naivete in interacting with others seems to emphasize perhaps being on the autistic spectrum.

And because of this, Molly is subjected to cruelty at work. Human nature, sadly, erects walls of ignorance to block out the things that people refuse to understand. Name calling appears to be a rigid defense mechanism that says more about the caller than the individual deemed inferior. Her supervisor, Cheryl, even steals her tips. But Molly carries on as Gran would want her to.

Fate can be cruel as well. It's Molly who comes across the prone dead body of Charles Black laying under the covers of his hotel bed. Mr. Black and his second wife, Giselle, were frequent guests of the hotel. Charles was a highly successful real estate tycoon. Strange how his real estate was diminished to a small square footage of that bed. It's this discovery of the body that will propel this storyline forward. Molly can never fully realize the impact of all this on her life now. Eventually, she will become a suspect and her honest and true heart will serve as quicksand in the coming days.

Nita Prose offers us her debut novel in The Maid. She has an uncanny talent of presenting Molly as a highly complex character put together with pure threads. We smile at Molly's responses at taking things literally. Yet Nita Prose showcases Molly's high intelligence, her fortitude, and her resilience under the most dire of circumstances. I applaud authors who are open to featuring individuals who represent all of humanity. I highly recommend The Maid as a most satisfying read. Nita Prose is an author to keep the light on for.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Random House (Ballantine Books) and to Nita Prose for the opportunity.
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,289 reviews120k followers
March 7, 2022
The truth is, I often have trouble with social situations; it’s as though everyone is playing an elaborate game with complex rules they all know, but I’m always playing for the first time.
Today at work, I found a guest very dead in his bed. Mr. Black. The Mr. Black. Other than that, my work day was as normal as ever.
A totally charming lead, Molly the Maid, Molly Gray, is as dedicated a guest-services employee as any hotel could wish for. She is an obsessive cleaner, determined to live up to the hotel’s stated desire to return every room to perfection every day, and particularly after guests have checked out…well…in the usual meaning of the term. Molly has the misfortune of entering a room where a notorious guest, Mr. Black, a hotel regular, and wealthy wife-beater who has been giving his second, trophy wife, Giselle, a miserable time, has checked out in the other meaning of the phrase. Cleanup in Room 401!

Nita Prose - image from her site

It is upsetting, of course, but so is the fact that his shoes are misaligned on the floor, and the room is in need of much more cleaning than usual. She calls down to the front desk, where she can be counted on to be ignored, then sees something so alarming that she faints straight away. Returned to consciousness, Molly phones down to the lobby again, this time demanding that the hotel manager, Mr. Snow, be notified. People soon arrive.

She has some challenges to overcome, both financial and social. When the police get involved in the hotel killing, her problems only multiply. Thankfully there are some who appreciate her, and are willing to help.

Over the course of the book we learn more and more about both the dodgy folks in and about the Royal Grand Hotel, and about Molly herself. It is clear to readers that Molly is on the spectrum, but has found work that she finds satisfying and well-attuned to her proclivities (neat-freak). It has the added element of honoring her beloved, recently-deceased grandmother, who had raised her, following in Gran’s career footsteps. Molly’s penchant for cleanliness stands out in stark contrast to the rather dirty goings on at the hotel. Her social cluelessness makes it tough for her to understand that there is something decidedly rotten about some people she believes to be good eggs. But, while not entirely morally pristine herself, Molly is a decidedly good egg, who values friendship, honesty, and loyalty. Her total recall makes it possible for some of the events of that terrible day to be played back, in detail. This makes it possible to unscramble the mess, at least some, but will anyone listen?

Nita Prose (pen name for Canadian editor Nita Pronovost) has a lot of fun with The Maid. In addition to an appealing, first-person narrator to lead us through the action, she decorates the scenery with nicely chosen colors, patterns, and motifs. Starting with colors, Molly is, of course, Gray. The hotel manager is Mister Snow. Molly’s unpleasant landlord is Mr Rosso (red). Her corrupt supervisor is Cheryl Green (notorious for poaching tips intended for other maids). An unspeakable ex is Wilbur Brown. One of her co-workers is called Sunshine. Coloring applies to people, themselves. The deader sports red and purple pinpricks around his eyes. Giselle has green eyes. Molly has alabaster skin.

The palette extends to the surroundings, a black and white background against which some colors can glow. As I place a hand on the shining brass railing and walk up the scarlet steps that lead to the hotel’s majestic portico, I’m Dorothy entering Oz. (The Oz notion is picked up later, beyond the visuals, when Molly thinks of Giselle as bridging two worlds.) The hotel features an obsidian countertop on the front desk, marble floors that glow white, and emerald loveseats in the lobby. Molly’s uniform consists of black trousers and a white blouse. The receptionists, in black and white, look like penguins. A white bathrobe is found on the floor of room 401. Giselle stands out for having a yellow (yolk-colored?) purse. One character wears a wine-colored dress with a black fringe. Molly is sensitive to the colors of her world, and they stand out for her like a blood-red rose against a colorless background.

Prose also offers up invisibility as a theme throughout. Molly is invisible to most of the world due to her difficulty with social interactions, and welcomes this invisibility in her job. My uniform is my freedom. It is the ultimate invisibility cloak.; It’s easier than you’d ever think—existing in plain sight while remaining largely invisible; [Mr Black] often did this—bowled me over or treated me like I was invisible; Discretion is my motto. Invisible customer service is my goal. Molly is always intensely grateful whenever someone makes her feel seen or appreciated. Some find Molly’s invisibility enviable. And she is not the only person at the Regency Grand to be afflicted with translucence.

Eggs offer a bit of focus, as Molly thinks of people as good or bad ones. And there is a very different sort of egg that impacts Molly’s life. Someone preparing eggs for someone else is a very clear symbol of affection.
As an editor, Pronovost is always thinking about how a manuscript fits into a specific genre or how a story might bend reader expectations in that genre. For her own novel, she imagined mixing a misfit-character trope – inspired by the titular protagonist of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – with a contemporary locked-room mystery inspired by the work of U.K. thriller writer Ruth Ware. Add in a touch of the film Knives Out and the board game Clue, and there is The Maid. - from the Quill & Quire interview
But these are not her only influences. Prose provides some hints to the sort of story we are reading, informing us that Molly enjoys reading Agatha Christie novels. Gran has so many of them, all of which I’ve read more than once. But she adds to that Molly and Gran’s fondness for another mystery entertainment. …we’d eat our meals side by side on the sofa as we watched reruns of Columbo. Expect amateurs to do some sleuthing. No hard-boiled detectives in this one. And you may or may not know who they should be investigating very early in the story.

Universal Pictures picked up the film rights to the book. Academy-Award-nominee Florence Pugh is slated to star as Molly. We all know that options are sold all the time, and most are never actually made. So believe it when you see it.

Florence Pugh - image from Daily Actor

While reading, I was totally reminded of a TV series, Astrid et Raphaëlle, as it is known in France, and Astrid in its release on Prime in the USA. Sara Mortensen plays an autistic woman drawn into helping the police solve crimes with her unique talents. I kept picturing Mortensen’s Astrid while reading this book. The show is delightful.

Sara Mortensen as Astrid - image from Amazon

Hopefully, you will not wait until all your rooms are in a pristine state to give The Maid a look. It is a charming, engaging, cozy mystery, with a wonderful lead, a colorful cast of supporting players, and an effervescent sense of style. Ideal for kicking back and just enjoying while you recover from the holidays. But be sure to put a coaster under that drink. Someone is going to have to clean that up.
Is now a good time for me to return your suite to a state of perfection?

Review posted – 11/26/2021

Publication date – 1/4/2022

I received an eARE of The Maid from Ballantine Books in return for making a few beds and doing a little vacuuming. Thanks also to NetGalley for calling this book to my attention in their newsletter, and facilitating the download.

This review has been cross-posted on my site, Coot’s Reviews. Stop by and say Hi!

============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s personal, Instagram, and Twitter pages

Prose (Pronovost) is a vice president and editorial director with Simon & Schuster’s Canada division.

Items of Interest
-----A wonderful review of a personal-favorite TV show featuring an unusual crime-solving duo -Astrid - I pictured the Astrid of the title as Molly
-----Wiki on Columbo
August 1, 2022
Two dirty but innocent little stars for Molly the Maid’s story.

“I know about your secrets. Your dirty laundry. I am your Maid” and I am an outlier in this one.

It pains me to give this 2 stars when the author has tried to write a delightful story, despite murder being the centre of the plot. And why?

Unfortunately, the book fell short on so many levels and felt more like an adolescents introduction to murder mystery. It was too innocent, too contrived, and too implausible.

On a positive note, this as a story of personal growth, of innocence and a socially awkward girl making her way in a corrupt world, having lost the last of her relatives. Her Grandmother, who inspired her with so many motivational quotes and sayings about life.

The Plot

Molly is a girl described by her work colleagues and those who know her, as awkward, standoffish. Meticulous. A neat freak and a weirdo. However, just like her grandmother she aspires to becoming a maid and lands her dream job at the Regency Grand Hotel. Someone, invisible who comes to your room when you are not there and knows more about you than you care to think. She knows your dirty little secrets!!!

Molly finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation having found Mr Black, a VIP guest, dead in his hotel bed. Seemingly by natural causes until evidence starts to imply murder and Molly is charged.

Standing accused, Molly, and a few trusted colleagues begin a murder investigation of their own when parts of the jigsaw don’t add up, which reveals betrayal and deception of the worst kind.

Review and Comments

1 ⭐ for the writing style which just did not work for me. It felt like the 10-year-olds introduction to murder mystery. The writing did not flow, and the author tried too hard to provide a moral backdrop to the story with an abundance of inspirational quotes that just did not knit well into the story.

2 ⭐⭐for characterisation. I did not like Molly portrayed as gormless and a level above an idiot. The purity in Molly’s outlook and language was at times endearing but also too naive. The bit that really jarred with me was the personal development that took place over the course of a week (the books timeline)

3 ⭐⭐⭐ for some lovely quotes, such as “everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”. I also loved the warning of do not assume, because it makes an “A-S-S of U and ME”. A sensible outlook on life was told in colours

"The world is a better place seen through a prism of colours rather than merely black and white. In this new world there is room for versions and variations, for shades of gray"

Many connected with the Molly and the story of growth. So please read their reviews. I would be happy to let my Goddaughters read this because of its simple messaging, lack of gore and smut, and was a personal development story of a young girl. However, despite trying hard to connect with this story because of the premise, I just disliked it on so many levels. It felt too contrived, overly simplistic and one dimensional but overworked with the quotes and sayings. Less was more
Profile Image for Kat *will catch up soon!*.
215 reviews500 followers
December 21, 2021
Molly the Maid, I’m so happy to make your acquaintance. I can see now why so many of my friends love you!

Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray, who displays social behavior and speech consistent with being on the autism spectrum, has loved two things above all others: her Gran who raised her, and her job as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Now, after losing her Gran, all her energy is focused on returning guests’ rooms to a “state of perfection”. As she says:

“I don’t cut corners, I shine them. No fingerprint left to erase, no smear left to clear.”

When her cleaning duties for VIP guest Charles Black and his latest wife, Giselle, put her too close to the action after she discovers Charles dead in his bed one morning, Molly finds herself under suspicion from the police and questioning who her real friends are. Can she trust Giselle, who befriended her? Rodney, the helpful, hunky bartender she’s interested in? Juan Manuel, the kind dishwasher? Mr. Preston, the doorman who was friends with her Gran? Mr. Snow, her boss? It’s so tricky when you can’t quite understand everyone’s behaviors.

So here’s what I really liked:

Molly. She’s quirky, forthright, loyal and honest, though she might bend the truth a bit if required to help a friend in need. Her heart is in the right place, even if her actions aren’t always wise.

The story. It’s a sweet, simple, straightforward story, uncomplicated by all those flashy twists and turns other books offer, making it a perfect cozy read.

The writing. Its engaging, gentle humor and Molly’s first-person narrative made for a winning combo.

Here’s where it lost a star:

The plot. It’s no small irony that the TV detective show, Columbo, was so frequently mentioned, because the story reads like a TV episode where everything is neatly tied up in the span of an hour with little drama or intrigue. I was hoping for a bit more depth.

Personal triggers. Because I have a son of similar age on the spectrum, I found this a little more sad and stressful to read at times due to how Molly was taken advantage of and treated by other characters.

The ending. I’m not sure I can get behind the “end justifies the means” message it sends, but it's a small quibble.

All things said, I think Nita Prose has written an excellent debut, and one I’m very excited to see has been optioned for film. I’ll be eager to see what she comes up with next!

Thanks to Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine, NetGalley and author Nita Prose for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. It's due for publication on January 4, 2022.
Profile Image for Virginie Roy.
Author 1 book588 followers
February 25, 2022
🧽A mystery with a unique MC... and a lot of cleaning descriptions! 😂 ➡️ 2.5⭐

Yes, Molly was an interesting character and I loved the high end hotel setting, but the plot wasn't really original. I didn't find the story particularly touching nor funny. Also, some actions of the MC seemed in contradiction with her general behaviour.

The first 25% were mainly about Molly's life and background. It was pretty slow. The second half of the book was definitely better, but it was lacking tension. The ending was really sweet... maybe a little too much?!

I'm sorry I didn't enjoy this story as much as my GR friends. I will still watch the movie (or TV?) adaptation!🎬

Publication date: January 4

Many thanks to Penguin Random House Canada, Viking and Netgalley for the ARC!
Profile Image for Julie .
3,997 reviews58.9k followers
April 9, 2022

The Maid by Nita Prose is a 2022 Ballantine Books publication.

Young Molly Gray, a naïve and socially awkward maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, is trying to cope with the death of her beloved Gran, who raised her.

Without Gran to help her understand and navigate social cues, Molly’s naivete works against her when she discovers a prominent guest dead in his bed. She quickly becomes a person of interest based on a few missteps on her part as well as her unemotional responses to law enforcement.

Thankfully, Molly has a wider support system than she imagined.

Does Molly know something that could help solve this locked-room mystery and keep her from going to prison for a crime she didn’t commit?

I have written, re-written, edited, then re-written this review at least ten times- and I’m not exaggerating. I have a lot to say about it, and desperately wanted to post a ‘rant’ review. That said, this is pretty much a standard cozy, with one notable exception, and I realized I am over analyzing again- and I needed to take it down a notch. (Not that was entirely successful in doing that.)

Based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews for this book, I was expecting something truly exceptional, but basically, it’s your standard locked room setup, with some cozy elements.

There was nothing here that I haven’t seen in any other light mystery novel- and I should know because I read my fair share of them.

So, what it all boils down to is Molly. Am I right?

While I applaud giving those on the spectrum a voice in books, television and movies, Molly’s depiction made me uncomfortable, and there were gaping inconsistencies- (most of which have apparently been overlooked here, where in any other situation they would have gotten a book ripped to shreds by more discerning readers.)

It is just that at times it felt as though the reader was expected to laugh at Molly’s expense, like she was the butt of a joke, and it made me squirm in my seat. I didn't like the way her character was represented, or the way she was treated.

I’m sorry- I know I’m an outlier here, and once again, I might be taking it way more seriously than I should, but you don’t have to agree or take my word for it- lots of people have simply adored Molly-er- I mean this book- so check it out for yourself.

That said, if you liked this mystery, then you’ll enjoy other cozies too. They are notorious for featuring quirky, charming, and offbeat characters….

Overall, I really wanted to like this book, but it was disappointing in so many ways- The mystery was okay- but nothing special- and as for the rest, I have some real concerns… but I’ll just shut-up now before I dig myself in any deeper.

2 stars
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
372 reviews546 followers
December 15, 2021
"The Maid" by Nita Prose is a debut novel and a delightful Cozy Mystery!

Twenty-five-year-old, Molly Gray misses her Gran, the person who raised her. She mostly wishes Gran were still alive so she wasn't quite so lonely now. Molly is somewhat socially awkward and doesn't always understand the intentions of others, something Gran patiently helped her with!

Molly learned everything she knows from her Gran, especially about cleaning. It's her passion to clean to perfection as a maid at the five-star 'Regency Grand Hotel'. Molly loves everything about her job. Her crisp, clean uniform, her well-stocked cart, and cleaning each room, with a sense of pride, back to a state of excellence!

But, when Molly finds wealthy hotel guest, Charles Black, dead in his suite, her regimented life drastically changes into a disorderly mess!

Molly's unique demeanor is misinterpreted as guilt and she finds herself the lead suspect in a tangled web of deception she didn't see coming! Who can Molly turn to for help?

What a delightful journey this story was with Molly as the quirky protagonist. I was so intrigued by her perspective of life. Sometimes savvy but mostly unaware of the ways of the world around her. I love her honesty, her sense of friendship and family, and doing what's right and good!

A satisfying cozy-mystery and a perfect mix of unique characters with enough to love and enough to love-to-hate. This story surfaces important topics of being misunderstood, under-valued, finding your voice, and believing in yourself. These are what we should refer to in the future as: 'Molly Lessons'!

A debut novel that is a delight to read with a protagonist that is simply...well, delightful! I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!

5 delightful and completely VISIBLE stars!

Thank you to NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Nita Prose for a free ARC of this book. It has been an honor to give my honest and voluntary review. The expected publication date is 1/4/22.
Profile Image for Marialyce (absltmom, yaya).
1,934 reviews723 followers
January 11, 2022
I always have reservations about reading a book where the main character appears to be on the autism spectrum. I can never see a clear path to what the character is represented as and carry immense reservations about whether the reading population understand the character or laugh at the character’s foibles.

Certainly in The Maid, we see a character who is special, one who is constantly telling us how it is to be Molly.

Perhaps, it’s because as a former teacher, I have had a large number of autistic students whose behavior was exhibited by their actions which the author falls quite short in portraying.

The book is not authentic and the contrived instances, left a visible hole wide enough to turn this reader to a place I dislike, that of unbelievable circumstances.

The character of Molly was overly done and the supporting characters laid on another layer of eye rolling and exasperated sighs from this reader.

I know many others enjoyed this story but for Jan and I, it was an overdone and over hyped story, sadly. Constantly searching for authentic characters and ones where the real world presents a real environment makes always for much entertainment and meaningful reading. Unfortunately, this book lacked both. Sadly disappointing and one that has no recommendation from this reader.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33,787 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.