Murder, intrigue, cleaning.
Every day, when I arrive to work at the Regency Grand, I feel alive again, part of the fabric of things, the splendor and the color. I am part of the design, a bright, unique square, integral to the tapestry.
Gran used to say, ‘If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ And she’s right. Every day of work is a joy to me. I was born to this job. I love cleaning, I love my maid’s trolley, and I love my uniform.The Maid, by Nita Prose
Molly works as a maid at a luxury hotel called the Regency Grand. The kind with marble staircases, a doorman, and its own drug cartel.
Every day she slips quietly in and out of the rooms, cleansing them from top to bottom, and making them sparkly clean for that night’s guest. She sees the hotel as a hive of worker bees and herself as an important part of making sure the hive runs smoothly. One morning, she discovers the dead body of one of the hotel’s more well-known clientele (Mr Black) and a series of events lead to Molly being placed under scrutiny.
I found this book charming. Molly is seen as a “freak” and “weirdo” by some of her colleagues because she has a tendency to say what she thinks without understanding the social norms. There were a few moments in the book when I had to laugh at her bluntness and honesty. Below is an extract from when Molly meets Detective Stark, who investigates the death of Mr Black:
‘What an awful day for you,’ the detective says. Her voice is not without warmth.
‘Oh, it wasn’t awful,’ I say. ‘I’ve just been running through it in my mind. It was actually most pleasant, until approximately three o’clock.’
The detective looks at Mr Snow agian.
‘Shock,’ he says. ‘She’s in shock.’
Perhaps Mr Snow is correct. The next thought I have suddenly seems most urgent to articulate out loud. ‘Mr Snow, thank you so much for the cup of tea and the lovely shortbread biscuit. Did you bring them? Or did someone else? I truly enjoyed both. May I ask, what brand is the shortbread?’The Maid, Nita Prose
The book left me feeling warm-hearted but it also perfectly captured what it is to be an outcast and lonely. Molly lives by herself in a grotty building with a rude landlord (but a very clean apartment), that she had shared with her grandmother who died. She doesn’t have any other family or visitors or people to meet up with after work and so spends a lot of her time at home cleaning and watching Columbo. But she is sweet, naïve, and hard-working, and she realises that she does have friends at the hotel when she starts to reach out for help (although not all of them have her best interests at heart).
This book is perfect for those who enjoyed The Cactus by Sarah Haywood or Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Best paired with a bowl of chicken alfredo or a pepperoni pizza from the Olive Garden…