Audiobook Review: The Maid by Nita Prose
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Random House Audio (January 4, 2022)
Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
Author Information: Website
The Maid is a very different kind of mystery from the kind I usually read, which are more inclined towards suspense or thriller. This one though, has more of a cozy feel. Starring an amateur but unconventional lady sleuth, this is a story about how she stumbles upon a whole different world beneath the glitzy surface of the 5-star hotel at which she works after finding a guest dead in his bed.
Growing up, Molly Gray always knew she was different. The kids at school never let her forget it, tormenting her because of the way she acts and speaks. She has trouble communicating with others, struggling to read social cues and always seeming to say these wrong things. No one really understand her, save her beloved grandmother who raised her and taught her to navigate the world by simplifying her life and ordering it into manageable parts.
And for Molly, few things are more appealing to her than order, which is why she is so good at her job as a maid. She might not be able to read a room, but she certainly knows how to clean one from top to bottom, leaving it in a state of perfection for the wealthy guests of the Regency Grand who all appreciate her thoroughness and attention to detail. It’s something Molly takes great pride in and she loves everything about the work, from the crisp uniform she gets to wear every day to the endless reams of rules and regulations she and the other hotel employees must follow. And unfortunately, ever since her grandmother died, the work is also all Molly has left.
One day though, Molly’s highly organized life is turned upside down as she enters the suite of one of the hotel’s most distinguished regulars, the infamous and powerful mogul Charles Black, and finds his lifeless body cold and unresponsive. Unable to process the situation like the average person, Molly suddenly finds herself in the vulnerable position to be framed as the main suspect unless she can somehow uncover the clues that would reveal what really happened to Mr. Black.
If you’re feeling down or feeling stressed, The Maid is such a great book to settle back with. At the end of the day, this is a feel-good story, even though you may experience many moments of indignation on Molly’s behalf as she faces cruel teasing and manipulation from some of her co-workers. Our protagonist possesses a heart of gold along with a naivete and almost childlike demeanor that together makes her much too trusting, often leading to scenes where the reader would be forced to watch helplessly as Molly is being exploited or led down the wrong path.
Still, it’s a testament to the author’s talent that Molly comes across so genuine and convincing. Her behaviors, mannerisms, figures of speech etc. make her different, but never once does her narration feel contrived. The setting of a luxury hotel is also the perfect fit for this tale, adding to its charm. You have everything from the lazy head maid who steals tips, the kindly old doorman with a soft spot for Molly, the handsome young bartender who mixes drinks and breaks hearts. True, the cast list is pretty clichéd, but to me that plays well into the Clue-inspired story and setting.
Like I said though, when all is said and done, this is a feel-good story. That’s not to say there isn’t much suspense or plenty of good twists, because we have plenty of that here too. Still, it’s very unlike the mysteries I typically go for, but you can also be sure I don’t regret picking it up. It’s only January, but I have a feeling this year will end with The Maid being one of my most memorable books.