The Maid -Nita Prose

Molly is an endearing character, but definitely not perfect. She works as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, trusted with restoring the fanciest suites to a “state of perfection.” Molly is different: She takes people literally, misunderstands their meaning and has trouble with social cues. Her Gran used to help her with this, but Gran died nine months ago and Molly now lives alone in their apartment, figuring out how to be on her own at twenty-five. I smiled at Molly throughout this novel and found the other characters varied and entertaining. The whodunnit part of this novel is about the death of an unlikeable real estate tycoon, Mr. Black. Molly found his body, so she is both a suspect and motivated to solve his murder, although it is more her capacity for observation and recall and her random conversations that lead to the resolution of the case. Molly considers Mr. Black’s trophy wife Giselle a close friend, but who knows? She has a mad crush on the hotel’s bartender and considers the one time they went to Olive Garden together (a year ago) their first date. Even if that’s a stretch, is he a trustworthy friend? She feels warmly toward the doorman, an old friend of Gran, but the independent Molly never accepts his offers of help. Might she need help and if so, from him? Molly connects regularly with Juan Manuel, a dishwasher with immigration and housing issues. Is he a friend, or using her for the room keys she gives him to unoccupied rooms? On other fronts, Molly can’t figure out what to do about the head maid Cheryl, who she thinks is stealing tips from other maids. She loves the mandatory staff training that everyone else hates. Her landlord is losing patience with her late rent payments. Molly knows she is invisible to guests while being is privy to an enormous amount of information about them. She reminds herself often of her worth but recognizes her job puts her on a bottom rung in hotel hierarchy. She buoys herself up with Gran’s wise sayings, meant to perk her up. Through trial and error, she figures out who the good folks are and, with twists and turns that I could have spotted if I’d paid better attention, there are various resolutions to various issues including whodunnit. This is a cleverly written and plotted book. Hope to see more of Molly!

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