The Maid: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK “A heartwarming mystery with a lovable oddball at its center” (Real Simple), this cozy whodunit introduces a one-of-a-kind heroine who will steal your heart.
“The reader comes to understand Molly’s worldview, and to sympathize with her longing to be accepted—a quest that gives The Maid real emotional heft.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour
In development as a major motion picture produced by and starring Florence Pugh
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 37 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 04, 2022|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #71 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1 in Cozy Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
#2 in Domestic Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#4 in Cozy Mysteries (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2022
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Top reviews from the United States
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The Canadian author of this debut novel, has been a long time editor for other novels. This story is fast paced and all the characters are well developed. As Molly comes to realize even about herself, "People are a mystery that never can be solved." What a "delightful" read!
itself is good and you know basically who the bad eggs are, but its Molly who you'll love.
She'll stay in my mind for a long time, I highly recommend it! We should all be a little
Top reviews from other countries
There has been quite a lot of noise around this debut novel from editor-turned-author, Nita Prose, with the film rights having been snapped up quickly by Universal Studios. I also found the synopsis appealing and liked the idea of a locked-room style mystery with a quirky and engaging central character at the heart of the story.
Sure enough, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the early stages of the novel. Molly is a wonderfully endearing character. She has had a sheltered upbringing with her beloved grandmother, who died a few months ago. She is socially awkward and would probably have to be described as being "on the spectrum". The values that have been instilled in Molly have led to her becoming quite idiosyncratic with moral values and a mode of speech that would generally be considered to be old-fashioned. The combination of her upbringing and innate character also means that she is often extremely naïve and open to manipulation by others.
At this point the novel was shaping up to be just what I hoped it might be. I felt invested in Molly, but was prepared for her to experience some heartrending exploitation as the remainder of the story unfolded.
Unfortunately, the latter sections of "The Maid" were not as satisfying as the first half of the book had given them the potential to be. From around the midway mark the overall quality showed some marked deterioration. The criminal plot is simplistic and the characterisation, aside from Molly, is disappointingly basic and two-dimensional. Even Molly's character is less convincingly handled in some of the later stages, with the actions that she takes seeming wholly inconsistent with her intrinsic values and behavioural patterns from earlier in the piece. It all becomes a bit too sickly sweet and little more than a run-of-the-mill cosy drama.
Why 1*? Simple: in the court room denouement where XYX are being tried instead of our gormless protagonist ("Here's a tissue for your issue....") her feisty lady lawyer is questioning her on the stand! That's the job of the ADA or Defence Attorney in this nameless city; it's a criminal trial not a civil trial. A prosecution witness doesn't have her own defence counsel.....
One is told that the author is herself a well-known publisher & editor. Well, it'll end up on Netflix / Amazon and hopefully they'll get their facts checked and lose the page after page of dross. I only finished it in order to confirm to myself just how truly awful it was.....and it was.
As the maid who got her revenge in the end . I would recommend this to any book club as a very easy read.
The story is told by the likeable Molly Gray, aged 25, the maid in the beautiful Regency Grand Hotel. She had been brought up by and lived with her much-loved grandmother, who had died nine months earlier. The grandmother had been a fountain of clichéd advice, which Molly constantly recalls. Memories of her grandmother are prominent throughout the book – including of the physical pain she suffered before her death, and that Molly had obeyed her wish that she should do an act of mercy-killing with a pillow at the end. This traumatic event will account for Molly’s reactions to later events.
Molly loved and took pride in every detail of her work, in being an “invisible” part of the splendid hotel. She is innocent and naïve, thinks the best of people, and describes herself as socially gauche, unperceptive, making inappropriate remarks, over-explaining in answers to questions. She has an obsessive cleaning disorder. We have here an excellent portrayal of an autistic person.
Everything changes for her one day when she went to the suite of rooms (401) occupied by one of the hotel’s regular guests, the well-known and wealthy property mogul, Mr Charles Black, and Giselle, his second wife.. She finds him dead in his bed, amid a cascade of pills from the bottle of Giselle, his second wife.
That morning she saw a newspaper article about a row in the Black family between Mr Black and his first wife and daughter who had shares in his company which Mr Black wanted back.
Stark, a woman detective has been called and wants Molly to accompany her to the police station to take a statement of what she had seen. There again Molly over-explained everything she had noticed during her duties that day, but suppressed some things that she feels might incriminate Giselle, who had always been friendly towards her and had even told her that she suffered from her husband’s tyranny.
The following morning everyone at the hotel was sympathetic to Molly for the shock of her discovery, especially Rodney Stiles, the barman, who asked her for an evening meeting. Molly had always taken a fancy to him and was thrilled about this “date”. She had seen him that morning in a room she had been told was empty and which she was about to clean. Rodney was with Juan Manuel, a Mexican dishwasher in the kitchen, and with two foul-mouthed “behemoths” with shaven heads and facial tattoos. The four were disturbed to see her, and the reader immediately sees that something sinister is going on, and that Rodney was making a veiled threat to Juan Manuel; but Molly did not pick this up, even when Rodney asked her not to tell anyone that she had seen them. Rodney spun her a story which she guilelessly accepts: that he was looking after Juan Manuel, whose landlord had turned him out because he had discovered that he was an illegal immigrant, and so he had put him up in a room which he knew was empty; and Molly would do them a favour if she always told them each day which room in the hotel was empty at the time.
Mr Preston, the hotel doorman, saw Rodney depart and warned Molly to be careful of him: he is a bad man.
The post-mortem had shown that Black had been suffocated. There were only three pillows instead of four on the bed.
The next day, Molly is put under arrest for first degree murder, and for having helped Mr Black to run a drug operation through the hotel. Stark tells her that they have interviewed many of the people at the hotel about her – and that Rodney had thought her “more than capable of murder”, at which point Molly realized how she had been betrayed by him. She was allowed to contact a lawyer and she phoned Mr Preston for help. He turned up at the police station accompanied by his daughter, Charlotte, who just happened to be a lawyer. Having heard her father’s high opinion of Molly, she posted bail for her release.
It is at this point that, sadly, the book begins to disappoint. There is a sequence of events which I found difficult to follow, and which required Molly to act a part which I would not have thought she was capable of playing, but which resulted in Rodney being arrested and charged with the murder, and the charges against Molly being withdrawn.
At Rodney’s trial, Molly makes a revelation for the first time which, I would have thought, would get her into trouble for having concealed it for so long. There was enough evidence against Rodney to have him sent to prison. For one thing, he had worked with Black on the drugs operation and had forced Juan Manuel, in the empty rooms, to cut the drugs – but at the end of the book we find that, even at the trial, she did not mention what she had really experienced and which would have shown who the real murderer was.
But we are to believe that her behaviour at the trial had earned her a respect she was not used to. She was promoted to head maid. Juan Manuel had also done very well at the trial. Charlotte had secured a work permit for him; he moved in with Molly and they lived happily for ever afterwards.