The Maid by Nita Prose: 3.5***

The Maid is a very good book that explores the life of Molly, a maid at a luxury downtown hotel. Called Molly the Maid by her co-workers, Molly sticks out for being different than most people. While it topic is never broached by the author, one gets the impression that she may be on the high end of the autism scale similar to the lead character in the delightful South Korean TV series, “The Extraordinary Attorney Woo.” The book explores Molly and her relationship with some of the guests, her co-workers, her naivete, and her love of orderliness and cleaning. Oh, and then there is the mystery as to who killed hotel guest Mr. Black.

            The book begins with a very fascinating premise: That a hotel maid knows so much about her guests, but that the guests know nothing about these ladies who care for their rooms. It catches you from the get go, but for me there are still a lot of  unanswered questions about Molly, even though by the end she is able to assist in the capture of the murderer.

            This is author Nita Prose’s first book and I must admit that, even with the above qualification, I really enjoyed this book. Molly’s mom and dad are non-existent and she has been raised by her grandmother. She has been sheltered and raised in a way and with manners that seem alien to our current society. She and her grandmother developed a strong bond, but one that never really let Emily live a normal life. Her one and only boyfriend ended in disaster, and for most of the book Molly lives a life filled with platitudes and behavioral sayings that have been ingrained into her for her entire life. But things go off kilter when one of the hotels frequent guests is killed, and as the book moves along we see how Molly’s naiveté actually assists a criminal enterprise that is being run through the hotel. Molly just is unable to understand people and how she is obviously being manipulated. She mistakes interest for kindness, kindness for love, and deviousness for helpfulness.

            A very good book with some obvious issues and one that will most likely not have a sequel. There is more I wanted to know and learn about Molly but in the end we do know that she has found love and helped solve a crime, and for Molly the Maid that is as good as it gets.

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