The Maid by Nita Prose
Release Date: 4th January 2022
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
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?
The Maid was one of the first 2022 releases I got excited about, but unfortunately it turned out to be a disappointment. Not only did I find the story to be very boring, I also didn’t like any of the characters in this book.
When the book was first released, reviewers were talking about how the main character is neurodivergent. This made me excited because I always want to read about autistic main characters in books that AREN’T lit fic, and the thought of an autistic/neurodivergent character solving a mrdr was enthralling to me.
As I continued to read, though, I did question why the author decided to write Molly this way. It’s never mentioned whether Molly is autistic, nor neurodiverse, and the characters all treat Molly as though she is a child instead. I’m not sure if the author has experience with neurodiversity, and I certainly don’t want to assume, but I did find an interview where Nita Prose described Molly as “socially awkward”. So I’m not sure she has ever confirmed that she tried to respectfully write Molly as a neurodivergent character. It seems to me that she was writing all the stereotypes instead, but again, I don’t want to assume.
Would I be interested in an adaptation of this book? Yes… maybe. I wasn’t impressed by the mystery enough to care, to be honest, but of course if there are some great actors and screenwriters working on the project I might check it out. It could work better on screen with the right development.
Overall, The Maid isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it’s certainly the dullest mystery I’ve read this year. I don’t get the hype!