The Maid

Books on Tape. Jan. 2022. 9:38 hrs. ISBN 9780593452691. $76. M
An extremely sympathetic and unique main character, fully detailed secondary characters, and a juicy murder make for an involving contemporary mystery in Prose’s superb debut. Molly has just lost her beloved Gran, who helped her neurodivergent granddaughter navigate the subtleties of verbal and physical communication. Molly is thrilled with her job as a maid at the swanky Regency Grand Hotel, where she takes great pride in returning each room to its “state of perfection” through comfortable, repetitive tasks. Her coworkers are mostly cruel, though Molly has found a friend in the beautiful young second wife of wealthy but unpleasant guest Charles Black. When Molly finds his dead body in the Blacks’ hotel room, a series of naive actions cause police to arrest her for his murder. Her few work allies help as Molly’s methodical brain figures out the identity of the real murderer. Actress Lauren Ambrose narrates with perfectly succinct diction, which is totally in character for precise Molly. She deftly conveys Molly’s frequent bewilderment and nearly complete inability to understand humor.
VERDICT A must-purchase for all public libraries. In addition to being both delightful and a satisfying mystery, the book has been optioned for film; there will likely be high demand.
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