Let’s talk about the ending and other key twists from The Maid by Nita Prose.
I really enjoyed The Maid! I thought it was quite charming in many ways, which is not how you typically describe a murder mystery. I rooted for Molly throughout her journey and I really enjoyed her character development.
Overall, it’s a clever and entertaining read. Like all murder mysteries, this one features quite a few twists. And they were surprising!
First, a quick synopsis: Molly Gray is a maid at a five-star hotel. She has trouble interpreting the intentions of others and struggles in social settings. But she takes great pride in her work. Molly’s life is upended the day she enters the suite where she finds a famous guest is dead. Molly’s unusual demeanor results in her becoming the lead suspect. She’ll eventually work with a cast of characters to help clear her name.
The Big Reveals
Spoilers from here on out!
It initially appears that the mystery is fairly cut-and-dried. Rodney, the head bartender, ran a drug cartel at the hotel. He murdered Mr. Black. Case close.
But it wasn’t.
It turns out while Rodney is a very bad dude, he did not actually kill Mr. Black. It was Mr. Black’s first wife, the original Mrs. Black. I have to say, I was very surprised by this reveal! I had assumed it was Rodney all along.
I did reread a couple sections and the author does give hints that Molly knows more than what she’s letting on—to both the police and the reader.
For instance, toward the end, when Detective Stark clears Molly of all charges and says Rodney will go to jail for a long time, Molly says: “That seems appropriate. He’s a liar, an abuser, and a cheat.”
“He’s also a murderer,” Mr. Preston adds.
I say nothing.
On my initial read, I didn’t put much stock in that. But now, I can see she clearly knew Rodney did not commit the murder and also did not volunteer that information.
And when rereading Molly’s time on the stand, she never explicitly says she saw Rodney but implies it in a somewhat discreet way. Molly claims she simply told her version of the truth and how people interpret it, is up to them. But I think she knew what she was doing.
Molly and Gran
I truly enjoyed the dynamic and relationship between Molly and her gran. It was so sweet and lovely—well to a certain point in the book. I will say, Molly’s actions revealed at the end kind of clouded it for me a bit.
Gran’s pain became absolutely unbearable and they didn’t have the money to keep up with the pain prescriptions as needed or more hospital stays. So gran asked Molly to, I don’t know how else to say it, assist with her death. Molly put the remaining pills in her tea and then used gran’s pillow to suffocate her.
Again, this was gran’s idea and she pushed Molly to do it. But agh, that whole ordeal left me with a weird feeling!
A strange story choice, in my opinion. I get that this action helped with her eventual connection to Mrs. Black. But I don’t know, it was way out of left field for me. What are your thoughts about it?
Mr. Black was a cheater, abuser and a criminal so no one was sad to see him gone. What happened the day of his murder is that Mrs. Black went to confront him and Mr. Black was pretty much drugged out but still managed to grab her by the wrists so hard that she would get bruises.
He eventually stumbled into bed and laid down. And that’s when Mrs. Black suffocated him with the pillow.
Upon this reveal, she says to Molly, “In my experience, there are times when a good person must do something that’s not quite right, but it’s still the right thing to do.”
This resonated with Molly as gran asked her to assist with her death, and while it was a horrible thing to ask, Molly felt it was the right thing to do for gran in the end. Molly says to herself, “mercy takes unexpected forms.”
Between that and the acknowledgement that many bad people seem to go free while they continue to hurt good people, Molly decided not to report that Mrs. Black was the actual murderer.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
I thought the twists was interesting—both the fact that Mrs. Black was the real murderer and that Molly knew all along. It showed Molly was more perceptive than she let on.
But still a bit strange regarding Molly’s actions with her gran’s death. And that’s one reason she bonded with Mrs. Black. It’s certainly a twist but an odd one at that.
One more item to point out that it seems Mr. Preston is actually Molly’s grandfather! I wonder why that was only heavily implied but Molly did not seem aware of it. Maybe a sequel is in store?
Still, I did very much enjoy the story, even if a couple parts were a little clunky.
What are your thoughts about the novel? Were you surprised by the twists? What do you hope to see in the movie version? Let me know below!