Thursday 7 December 2023

The Mystery Guest (A Molly the Maid mystery) - Nita Prose

A new mess.
A new mystery.
Molly the maid returns . . .

Molly Gray wears her Head Maid badge proudly for every shift at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows, sweeping up the guests’ secrets, silently restoring rooms to a state of perfection.

But when a renowned guest – a famous mystery writer – drops very dead in the grand tea room, Molly has an unusual clean-up on her hands.

As rumours and suspicion swirl in the hotel corridors, it’s clear there’s grime lurking beneath the gilt. And Molly knows that she alone holds the key to the mystery. But unlocking it means thinking about the past, about Gran, and everything else she’s kept tidied away in her memory for so long.

Because Molly knew the dead guest once upon a time – and he knew her . . .

What did I think?

After the success of The Maid, I'm absolutely delighted that Nita Prose decided to write another book starring my favourite maid, Molly Gray.  The Mystery Guest is one of my most eagerly anticipated books of 2023 and I loved it.  Whilst The Mystery Guest can be read as a standalone, I would advise reading The Maid first as there are some returning characters and we also find out more about Molly's childhood.

We return to the Regency Grand Hotel in The Mystery Guest where Molly is now Head Maid and she's preparing for a big event as a bestselling author is hosting a press conference in the hotel.  This isn't the first time that Molly has met author J.D. Grimthorpe and this leads on to the wonderful flashbacks of Molly's past.

I adore the relationship between Molly and her Gran and even when Gran isn't with her, Molly  hears Gran's wise words in her head.  There are so many brilliant Gran quotes but my favourite is: "A tissue for your issue."  I'm definitely adopting that and using it whenever I can.  

Molly is such a delightfully quirky character and I feel that she has really grown up since I last encountered her in The Maid.  She's in a sweet relationship with Juan Manuel (who disappointingly doesn't make an appearance as he is away visiting his family) and she has been promoted at work.  Even this new encounter with Detective Stark sees Molly eventually being treated with more respect.

Cosy mysteries don't get much cosier than The Mystery Guest and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Once you have met Molly Gray you will never forget her; The Mystery Guest will delight fans of The Maid and introduce Molly into the lives of many more readers.  

I received an ARC to read and review for the Tandem Collective readalong and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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