Molly Gray has difficulty interpreting the nuances of social interaction, has a tendency to blurt out things obviously true but wholly inappropriate for comment. Until recently her grandmother helped her navigate the ins and outs of human behavior. The two women shared an apartment and were devoted to each other, but her grandmother recently died so Molly is on her own regarding how to comport herself.
She works as a maid in a tony hotel, the Regency Grand, a job she enjoys. Molly likes order, she likes things clean and tidy, she feels accomplishment in returning a messy room to a state of pristine comfort. She has a friend in the kitchen, Juan Manuel, and a crush on Rodney. Molly has surmised that to most of the guests, the maid is almost invisible. She is good at her job; being a maid doesn’t call on her to have a lot of sparkling repartee and she likes restoring order.
What her job doesn’t prepare her for is murder. The Regency Grand has a lot of well-heeled customers. People important in the financial pages and the society pages of leading newspapers. One of them, Mr. Black, is dead in the penthouse, a room Molly routinely cleans. Discovering him in this condition is way outside Molly’s normal duties. Once the police get involved it is clear Molly is caught in troubled waters. This is an absolutely charming mystery; Molly is a delightful character intent on putting things right.— Deon Stonehouse
January 2022 Indie Next List
“Very entertaining! Miss Marple meets The Rosie Project in this charming book about a hotel maid who sees the world a bit differently than many of us. Molly the maid and her cast of friends will bring a smile to your face!”
— Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • “A heartwarming mystery with a lovable oddball at its center” (Real Simple), this cozy whodunit introduces a one-of-a-kind heroine who will steal your heart.
“The reader comes to understand Molly’s worldview, and to sympathize with her longing to be accepted—a quest that gives The Maid real emotional heft.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour
In development as a major motion picture produced by and starring Florence Pugh
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.
About the Author
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.
“Prose threads a steady needle with the intricate plotting, the locked-room elements of the mystery, and especially Molly’s character. . . . The reader comes to understand Molly’s worldview, and to sympathize with her longing to be accepted—a quest that gives The Maid real emotional heft.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Charming, eccentric.”—The New York Times
“A twist-and-turn whodunit, set in a five-star hotel, from the perspective of the maid who finds the body. Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour
“Entrancing . . . something of a modern-day Clue.”—PopSugar
“A heartwarming mystery with a lovable oddball at its center.”—Real Simple
“An eccentric and unforgettable sleuth who captivated me and kept me furiously turning the pages.”—Sarah Pearse, New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium
“The Maid is a masterful, charming mystery that will touch your heart in ways you could never expect. The endearing, unforgettable Molly reminds us to challenge our assumptions about one another, and shows us how meaningful it is to feel truly seen in the world.”—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push
“A charming, clever, and wholly original whodunit. I cheered and felt deeply for Molly the Maid—a complex and masterfully drawn protagonist I won’t soon forget.”—Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here
“A heroine as loveable and quirky as Eleanor Oliphant, caught up in a crime worthy of Agatha Christie. Loved it!”—Clare Pooley, New York Times bestselling author of The Authenticity Project
“It’s impossible not to love Molly, an endearing, eccentric hotel maid. . . . As in any cozy whodunit, clean appearances may in fact hide a few smudges. The twists and surprises keep coming until the very last page of this delightfully fresh debut.”—Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary
“Fresh, fiendish, and darkly beguiling . . . The Maid is so thrillingly original, clever, and joyous. I just adored every page.”—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End
“The Maid is sure to leave mystery lovers delighted, charmed, and eager for more of Prose’s work.”—Karma Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Recipe for a Perfect Wife
“It took only a few lines for me to fall hopelessly in love with hotel maid Molly Gray. Being in Molly’s mind is like eating ice cream on a hot summer day: delicious and refreshing.”—Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
“A supremely clever and heartwarming story that is not to be missed.”—Stephanie Wrobel, USA Today bestselling author of Darling Rose Gold
“For anyone who has ever felt out of step with the world, no matter how hard they try to fit it, Nita Prose has blessed us with Molly Gray.”—Heather O’Neill, internationally bestselling author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel
“I enjoyed every minute of this twisty yet tender thriller. The Maid is gripping, deftly written, and led by a truly unforgettable protagonist in Molly. I’m recommending it to everyone I know.”—Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters
“The Maid is elegant, warmhearted, and wry, and Molly the most winningly offbeat narrator since Eleanor Oliphant. An absolute joy—I didn’t want it to end!”—Louise Candlish, author of The Other Passenger
“Molly is a likeable, neurodivergent narrator in this outstanding debut. The character-rich mystery ends with several twists that will appeal to fans of Eleanor Oliphant and other sympathetic heroines.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Captivating, charming, and heart-warming, with deft writing and a clever, original plot, this unusual crime novel will leave readers with a warm glow.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Prose delivers a gratifying, kindhearted whodunit with a sharply drawn protagonist for whom readers can’t help rooting. Fans of fresh takes on traditional mysteries will be delighted.”—Publishers Weekly