Molly Gray is the crime-solving Head Maid at London’s Regency Grand Hotel in THE MYSTERY GUEST the second book in the adorable and bestselling Molly the Maid series. Socially challenged, Molly has an eye for details that others miss.
The Regency Grand is thrilled to host famous mystery author J. D. Grimthorpe for a Big Announcement about his bestselling novels, many of which feature poisons. Reporters and mystery fans pack the hotel’s new Tea Room in anticipation. But before he can finish his speech and share the big reveal, Grimthorpe keels over dead.
Suddenly, Molly and her quiet maid-in-training are suspected of murder. The trainee was the last person to give Grimthorpe a cup of tea. Soon it’s revealed that the hot beverage was laced with car antifreeze.
Moreover, we soon learn that Molly met Grimthorpe years ago under difficult circumstances.
Molly narrates both her backstory and current events. The dual timelines are easy to follow, with backstory chapters starting with “Before.” Those intervals reveal how Molly’s mother was a drug addict—possibly accounting for Molly’s peculiarities–and left her child to be raised by her own mother.
Molly’s “Gran” was a maid working for the Grimthorpe family. When Molly is held back a grade because of her socially awkward ways, Gran takes her out of school and brings her to work at the mansion, where Molly meets Grimthorpe’s gorgon of a wife. The child is allowed to polish the silver and access the vast library next to her husband’s office.
All is fine for a few weeks, until Grimthorpe presses himself on Gran and Molly contrives to get her grandmother fired.
Once we know the backstory between Molly and the dead writer, the murder investigation takes on heightened tension. Suspicion is thrown on the hotel doorman, Grimthorpe’s fans, his personal assistant and other quirky characters. But it’s Molly, with her way of noticing what no one else does, who ultimately breaks the case wide open.
I absolutely loved Molly’s narration, from her way of referring to her boyfriend as “beloved Juan Manuel” to her clever rhyming cleaning mantras. Some might call this a cozy mystery but I’d say that the Molly the Maid books are in a class of their own.