When an acclaimed author dies at the Regency Grand Hotel, it’s up to a fastidious maid to uncover the truth, no matter how dirty—in a standalone novel featuring Molly Gray, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid, a Good Morning America Book Club Pick.
Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J.D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead—very dead—on the hotel’s tea room floor.
When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know who killed J.D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?
As the case threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past—because long ago, she knew J.D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery post-haste. If there’s one thing Molly knows for sure, it’s that dirty secrets don’t stay buried forever…
“Treat others the way you wish to be treated. We’re all the same in different ways. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
I adored that audiobook narrated to a state of perfection by Lauren Ambrose. No narrator could have been a better choice for Molly the maid.
As I adored The Maid I dove into its sequel, The Mystery Guest, as soon as the audiobook was available to me!
This turned out to be another delightful story. Smart, moving, peculiar and hiding some well-hidden twists. Even if we now know of Molly’s peculiarities and it does not come as a surprise anymore, I still had a grand time listening to her adventures.
Molly has changed, grew more confident and has now risen to the position of head maid, assembling her own team, writing her own guide book and recruiting young and quiet Lily, probably because she reminded Molly of herself. Even if she is now running the show, Molly is still adamant to leave a room in a state of perfection and adores her job!
Mr Snow, the manager, holds her in his esteem and she has his whole trust.
“Molly is an employee who sustains an attitude of gratitude.”
The story revolves around another murder, happening at the Regency Grand once again!
A famous writer has invited the press to unveil a big secret but has no time for the big reveal as he drops dead on the stand, throwing everyone in a frenzy!
Of course, the detective tasked with finding “who did it” is detective Stark, the one who wanted to put Molly behind bars in the previous instalment.
It will fall on Molly’s shoulder and her uncanny eye for details to read the clues and find the killer, all while protecting a secret related to her childhood and the dead writer.
The thing I love most about these books is the prose and the very proper if not old fashioned way Molly is speaking! Also all the “sayings” and rhymes she created to guide her maids in their cleaning duties was a delight to hear!
If Molly is more confident, Nita Prose still stayed true to her character, her “difference” and endearing quirks.
I also really liked having a deeper peek at Molly’s childhood. The struggles she experienced with her peers and her teachers because of her lack of social skills and difference. My heart broke many times reading how lonely she was and how others ridiculed young Molly!
I swear Gran was my hero and Molly’s guardian angel! She deserved a medal, always staying positive, patient and nurturing. Il loved hearing her voice and advices. Gran was an admirable woman that we will learn to know through Molly’s eyes throughout the book.
It was her who helped Molly navigate life, made things simpler for Molly. Gran gave moral rules to Molly and our heroine thrives with rules. It’s what helps her to be part of society without feeling totally lost.
We go back and forth between Molly’s past and present all while trying to solve that murder. And I can honestly say that I hadn’t guessed “who did it”!
This was a very well written cozy mystery, supported by a character you can’t help but love. Nita Prose also left Molly in a very interesting position that could launch that series in an unexpected direction if the author so chose!
Anyway, I am always in for more of Molly’s adventures!
PS: some of Gran’s wisdom:
“A good cup of tea cures all ills. And if it doesn’t, have another.”
“To err once is human; to err twice is idiotic.”
Thanks for reading.