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KPCW invites members of the Friends of the Park City and Summit County libraries to review novels and non-fiction every month.

August 2022 Book Review - "The Maid"

Random House
Kirsten Nilsson reviews Nata Prose's "The Maid" for the August 2022 book review.

A riveting yet quirky murder mystery, “The Maid” by Nita Prose will keep you up reading late into the night.

If you happened to bump into Molly Gray on the street, the main character in Nita Prose’s recent mystery novel “The Maid”, you might think she is a lot like her name—drab, uninteresting and more than a little awkward. (I apologize to all the Mollys out there.) Well, she is all those things. At 26, Molly lives alone in a run-down but impeccably clean apartment. She has few, if any, social skills. She takes things literally in every way—she just doesn’t understand subtlety or metaphor—which causes confusion and misunderstanding every time she turns around. However, she works her “dream job” as a maid at the seemingly luxurious Regency Grand Hotel, and not just any maid. Her orderly life, proper etiquette and quirky personality suit her work perfectly. She relishes in arranging the tiny little soaps, shampoo, and lotion bottles on her cart each morning. She adores her perfectly pressed, crisp black and white uniform. Her highest hope is to return the guest rooms at the Regency Grand to a “state of perfection” by the end of each day.

However, the mess she finds herself in when she discovers the infamous and very wealthy Mr. Black, in his penthouse suite, dead in his bed, might be more than even Molly can quickly tidy up. She becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation, which really messes up her job as Molly the impeccable Maid.

Molly is certain her friends at the hotel can help her. Like Rodney, the sleazy hotel bartender, whom she knows will ask her to join him at the Olive Garden for unlimited salad and breadsticks, at any moment. She can wait. It’s already been a couple of years. Or, Juan Manuel, one of the kitchen workers that she and Rodney are helping because his work permit has expired. He’s lost his housing, so he sleeps in a different room of the hotel every night. Even one of her closest (and only) friends, Giselle, the nefarious Mr. Black’s glitzy trophy wife, must be able to help her straighten this all out. It has all been just a big misunderstanding. Yes. Much bigger than anyone knows. Well, somebody knows.

Is it Molly, in the penthouse, who has murdered Mr. Black? Can the menacing Detective Stark uncover the truth in this messy mash-up where a grown-up Amelia Bedelia meets Agatha Christie and they find themselves playing a game of Clue?

“The Maid” by Nita Prose is a surprisingly delightful, hard-to-put-down, murder mystery that will keep you reading late into the night. And, after you finish, if you happened to meet Molly Gray on the street, despite her awkwardness and odd-behavior, you would definitely want to sit down with her for a cup of tea. She’s really not at all like her name.

You can find “The Maid” at both the Park City and Summit County Libraries. The e-book and e-audiobook are both available for check-out through the Libby app.

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