Molly Gray takes great pride in her job as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Before her grandmother’s death, Molly relied heavily on her grandmother to help her understand the world around her. She has her memories and holds on tight to the lessons her grandmother taught her. Molly is neurodivergent and does not see the world the way most others do. She struggles with social skills and reading facial expressions. She likes routine and having rules to follow. Her life is disrupted in a big way, however, when she finds the body of Charles Black, a wealthy and influential businessman, in his hotel room, his young wife Giselle absent from the scene. A police investigation ensues and, much to Molly’s surprise and consternation, she finds herself at the top of the suspect list.
The novel is written from the perspective of Molly, and so the reader gets a firsthand glimpse into what she is feeling and thinking. I loved the references to the old Columbo television show, which I have fond memories of watching when I was a child. Molly is such a wonderful character and there is so much more to her than at first the reader may think. There were moments I wished I could wring the neck of some of the other characters who had taken advantage of Molly’s naivety. But I also think it was their assumptions about her that made them underestimate her. There were also the characters I was so glad Molly had in her life.
I thought the overall characterizations and story were multi-layered and well-developed. I had a hard time putting The Maid down once I started reading. I found it to be a witty, charming and heartfelt novel that I hated to see come to an end if only to spend more time with Molly.
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