• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Maid by Nita Prose

Nita Prose offers a surprising amount of heart and a unique main protagonist in this lighthearted murder mystery, her debut novel.

In Nita Prose's brand-new novel (published today!) The Maid, main protagonist Molly finds a hotel guest dead in his room, and her access to the room, her eccentric manner, and other's manipulations of her innocent vulnerability may mean that she's the prime suspect.

Prose has built an interesting premise with Molly as an unreliable main protagonist. She's naive, she struggles with social cues and unplanned interactions, her way of speaking is formal, and her habits are rigid and inflexible. While Molly herself frequently misses the implications of the details she meticulously observes, the reader sees the truth of the various circumstances she witnesses.

I was concerned that Molly's unique set of idiosyncrasies might be too central of a plot point in that it might allow for too-easy deception, and that seeing others take advantage of her innocence would make for nerve-racking, uncomfortable reading.

But Prose allows some surprises, and Molly seems more than capable of extricating herself from suspicion by using the many personal qualities that have led others to underestimate her. The shifts in point of view and the revelations that were made possible by the bit-by-bit unveiling of information were intriguing.

I received a prepublication electronic copy of this book courtesy of Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Nita Prose is a longtime book editor, and The Maid is her first book.

The lighthearted aspect of this mystery reminds me a little bit of Finley Donovan Is Killing It, but The Maid offers more heartwarming connection--I was surprised by how much, and by how touching it felt to me--whereas Finley Donovan was darkly funny.