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"The Maid" Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider

It’s been ages since I’ve read a book with a more endearing character than the protagonist author Nita Prose has created in her simple, yet lovely mystery “The Maid.” I admired and cared about sweet, kind, gullible Molly Gray from page one, the narrator of this must-read about a maid at the upper crust Regency Grand, a boutique, Art Deco hotel.

Twenty-five-year-old Molly relishes her position, seeing her job as a way to serve others, her dedication and skills put to the test as she restores each of the rooms to a meticulous, gleaming state after guests depart.

Being a maid wasn’t originally in Molly’s cards. Abandoned by her mother, Molly was raised by her Gran, the two sharing a devoted, mutually loving bond. Gran wanted to provide for Molly after she was gone and spent her life saving so Molly would never be in need.

The two had planned on Molly getting a college degree in the hotel/hospitality field, but Molly was victimized, and the nest egg Gran set aside was spirited away by an unscrupulous man. Embarrassed, Molly never shared how she’d been hoodwinked with Gran, who dies from pancreatic cancer, an untimely death sentence she kept from Molly until she couldn’t any longer.

In her solitude and grief, Molly finds comfort in her work until the awful day when she discovers Mr. Black dead in his bed. A frequent client at the hotel, Mr. Black is prestigious, but shady, his abusive relationship with the second Mrs. Black well known to Molly because Giselle Black shares confidences with her.

Besides Giselle a number of other characters could have done Mr. Black in, but of course Molly becomes suspect in this who-dun-it that while straight-forward and without a lot of twists and turns does include a believable surprise at the end I didn’t see coming.

“The Maid” is a charmer with much going for it, at the top of the list is Molly, a maid with a heart of gold who marches to a different drum.

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