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?
Ever wondered how much hotel staff, such as maids, really know about guests – and how involved they get in the guests’ questionable activities?
Molly, a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, takes her job very seriously. She doesn’t connect easily with people socially like others seem to, but she knows her job and she likes her life to be orderly and structured. One day, however, a rich guest dies in the hotel: Charles Black, whose wife Molly has become quite close to. It turns out there’s far more going on at the Regency Grand than it first seems – and poor Molly gets embroiled in the havoc which ensues as police try to work out who killed Charles.
Molly’s character is incredibly likeable. We can tell (and in fact, Molly says herself) that she struggles to understand when people aren’t being serious, and she takes everything literally, so unfortunately some people take advantage of her. As the reader, we can see this coming a mile off but poor Molly often can’t – and the story is entirely narrated by Molly, so often there’s certain phrases or pieces of information Molly gives away which makes us aware of this.
As well as Molly, there are lots of other likeable and not so likeable characters who are interesting to read about, and plenty of different themes and issues addressed in the narrative – including grief, inclusivity, identity and neurodiversity plus many more. The mystery element to the plot – who actually killed Charles and why? – is an added bonus for me.
The Maid is an enjoyable, sweet book that mixes an enjoyable storyline with unique, memorable characters.
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the publisher, HarperCollins UK, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.