Editorial note: I received a copy of The Maid in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
The Maid by Nita Prose is a charming murder mystery full of heart and depth.
So you don’t often see ‘heartwarming’ used to describe a murder mystery! However, the The Maid is such a unique take on the genre. There are elements of both Clue and Knives Out, with a little Agatha Christie mixed in. But the story really stands on its own. (BTW, this is one of my must-read book club books for 2022 selections so be sure to check out the full list if you haven’t seen it yet.)
The story is getting so much publicity from Good Morning America selecting it for their book club pick for January to news that actress Florence Pugh will star in the movie version (fantastic casting!). I’m here to say that the buzz is real—this book is fantastic! I was so absorbed with this novel and it truly took me on such a journey. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an engaging and lively story. I already know this will be one of my favorites of the year. This one is well worth your time!
What’s the Story About
Our protagonist Molly Gray is a maid at a five-star hotel. She takes great pride in her work and ensures that each room she works on is left in a state of perfection. While it’s never explicitly said, it appears that Molly is on the autism spectrum and has difficulty understanding social cues while also misinterpreting the actions of others. Her beloved Gran would help interpret the world for her but she passed away several months ago and Molly is now on her own. So she becomes even more laser focus on doing a good job at work.
But everything changes for Molly when she finds a famous and wealthy hotel guest dead in his hotel room. Molly becomes the main suspect and it takes a cast of characters to help her uncover the truth behind the murder. And along the way, Molly learns so much more about herself and the world around her.
Molly is vivid and lovely. She’s quite misunderstood and there are some heartbreaking scenes as a result. It’s quite sad because it’s based in reality—it’s something that we know does happen. While this is a fiction story, you hope that reading from Molly’s perspective does help one focus a bit more on empathy.
Molly isn’t able to interpret beyond what people say to her. She takes everything at face value and is quite trusting and as a result, she lacks the ability to sense when someone is lying or misleading her. But she does learn quite a bit on this journey, especially when the police decide she’s the main suspect.
But I will say Molly is very strong and you’ll root for her throughout this journey.
Her character arc and growth is very well done and makes sense within the context of this story. And no spoilers here, Molly will surprise you. All in all, I really loved the Molly character and the other side characters as well. Her relationship with her Gran was special and sweet. I found myself choked up at many of their scenes—again not something you expect in a murder mystery!
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of character development in this novel. But let’s not forget that The Maid is a murder mystery. And the mystery is interesting! You know there’s more that meets the eye with what we’re told but I have to say there are several twists I did not see coming. I love when that happens.
It reminded me bit of the cozy mystery genre. Those are lighter takes on murder mysteries—amateur sleuth without the heavy content or graphic scenes. I wouldn’t say this is as light as most cozy mysteries but it does fall under that arena. It never felt too intense and instead, featured plenty of warm and wit.
I really adored The Maid! It was the right book to read at the right time. It’s creative, original, fun, sweet, and engaging—all in one package. Don’t miss out on this novel—be sure to add it to your TBR.
For book clubs, check out my discussion questions here.