‘The Maid’ by Nita Prose – Molly the Hotel Maid

 

‘The Maid’ by Nita Prose   (2022) – 289 pages

 

There are seasons in publishing just as there are in nature. New fiction by established writers often gets published in October so it is ready and available for Christmas shopping. By December, too late for Christmas, little fiction is published. What about January? January is the time for debut novelists who will then have nearly a full year for the public to get acquainted with them before the next Christmas shopping rush.

The Maid” by the debut novelist Nita Prose was published this month, January 2022.

Consider the maids in a luxury hotel, in this case the Regency Grand. It makes no difference where the hotel is located since the situation is the same around the world. The maids must clean up whatever messes the guests have made and leave their assigned rooms in perfect condition. They are probably paid minimum wage or thereabout, yet they are around luxury and well-to-do people their entire workday. Do they make much in guest tips? I don’t know. There is a tendency to take the maids for granted.

It’s easier than you’d ever think – existing in plain sight while remaining largely invisible. That’s what I’ve learned from being a maid. You can be so important to the fabric of things and yet be entirely overlooked. It’s a truth that applies to maids, and to others as well so it seems. It’s a truth that cuts close to the bone.”

What gives this murder story its charm is that it is told from the perspective of the maid Molly. Molly loves her job as a maid at the Regency General. Her grandmother who brought her up instilled in Molly the old-fashioned values – honesty, outward cheerfulness, and reliability.

Being brought up in quite isolated circumstances by her grandmother, now Molly is grateful when anyone does any act that indicates they may want to be friends with her. Thus she is a poor judge of character. She has not learned that “Poor company is worse than none”.

What Molly is very good at is cleaning up each hotel room she is assigned and returning it to a state of perfection. She also practices “Discreet courtesy, invisible but present customer service.” She is totally and completely dedicated to her job, yet she is accused of the murder of a prominent business man who rents a penthouse room in the hotel along with his wife.

This is the kind of murder mystery that you don’t examine the details too closely with a critical eye for inconsistencies or improbabilities. You just go with the flow and feel the warmth. Some of the surprises are telegraphed way, way ahead of time, and you would have to be a imbecile not to see them coming. This is a story for the heart, not the intellect.

This is not a heavy-duty demanding read like a lot of my reading. I enjoyed this lighter fare and the engaging personality of Molly the Maid for a change.

 

Grade:   A

 

 

3 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Tony — I’ve actually looked at this one a couple of times and thought I’d save it for a rainy day, i.e., when I was in the mood for a fun, low key afternoon read, with classics and translated literature barred for a few hours! Isn’t Molly neurodivergent, which contributes to her unusual viewpoint (and makes her a very interesting narrator)?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Hi Janakay,
      Neurodivergent, that is a new word for me. I looked it up, and it is apparently similar to autistic. I would not classify Molly as autistic or suffering from any mental or emotional impairment. She was brought up in very isolated circumstances by her grandmother, and thus is inexperienced and naive about other people. But she’s learning, a very likeable character.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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