Book review by Jill Hedgecock, author, jillhedgecock.com
The Maid (Ballantine Books, hardcover, $16.90) by Nita Prose is one part cozy mystery, one part romance, and 100% endearing character-driven book.
Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray is on the spectrum, but she has found the perfect job for her quirky personality: she is a maid at a high-end hotel. Cleaning is her forte.
Because she relates to the world in a literal way, her ability to comprehend the intentions of others is warped. Her Gran helped guide her through her social difficulties and taught her the importance of etiquette.
But when the old woman passes and a wily predator boyfriend walked away with the nest egg that Gran had squirreled away, Molly finds herself struggling to pay the rent.
Her troubles go from bad to worse when she befriends Giselle, the wife of Charles Black, a man involved in nefarious business dealings. Then one morning, Molly enters the Black suite with the intent of “returning their room to a state of perfection” only to discover her friend missing and Mr. Black dead.
Gran and Molly’s habit of watching reruns of the TV detective show, “Columbo”, come in handy for Molly when she makes several questionable decisions to help Giselle and fellow co-workers at the Regency Grand Hotel, Juan Manuel and Rodney. While Molly’s tip-stealing supervisor compounds her problems, the grandfatherly doorman proves to be a true friend.
Filled with pithy observations about life’s lessons, Molly will steal your heart and you will root for her until the very end.
“The Maid” was an Amazon Best Book of January 2022. A film adaptation by Universal Studios is in the works featuring Florence Pugh (“Midsommar”, “Black Widow”) as Molly. Fans of “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman, and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon will enjoy this book.
Nita Prose, the pen name, of Nita Pronovost, is a Vice President and Editorial Director for Simon & Schuster, Canada. She was listed as one of the 50 Most Influential Torontonians by Toronto Life. “The Maid” is her debut novel. She lives in Toronto, Canada, in a house that she describes as only moderately clean.