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The Housemaid Book Series Recap

Summary & Book List

The Housemaid series recap summary freida mcfadden mystery thriller

See below for a recap of all the books (in order) in The Housemaid Series by Freida McFadden, a mystery-thriller book series consisting of three titles — The Housemaid (2022), The Housemaid’s Secret (2023) and The Housemaid is Watching (2024).

The books in this series function as standalone books, but it’s generally recommended to read them in order for context and to prevent spoiling the ends of the prior books. McFadden has stated the third book will be the final book of the series.

Book #1

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

August 23, 2022  |  Review  |  Chapter Summary

Millie takes a job at the luxurious Winchester residence as a live-in housemaid. Andrew Winchester is handsome and kind, but things go downhill quickly as Nina Winchester exhibits increasingly bizarre and frustrating behavior. (Read more below…)

Book #2

The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden

February 20, 2023  |  Review  |  Chapter Summary

Millie accepts a job cleaning for tech CEO Douglas Garrick, but becomes concerned when his wife Wendy never leaves her room. (Read more below…)

Book #3

The Housemaid is Watching by Freida McFadden

June 11, 2024  |  Review  |  Chapter Summary

Millie is now living in the suburbs on a cul-de-sac and is no longer cleaning houses. But her neighbor Mrs Lowell seems to be hiding secrets, and perhaps Mrs Lowell’s housemaid as well …

Book #1

The Housemaid

August 23, 2022  |  Review  |  Chapter Summary

Millie is a young, beautiful ex-con who gets a job as a housekeeper for a wealthy couple, Nina and Andrew. Nina is temperamental and increasingly crazy, while Andrew is attractive and kind. Millie eventually sleeps with Andrew, and he kicks Nina out. We then learn that Nina hates Andrew and wanted to be free of him, which is why she hired Millie in the first place as a replacement. During their marriage, Andrew tortured Nina by locking her up in an attic room as “punishment” to correct various behaviors. He had her locked up in a psychiatric facility for 8 months as well. He used threats against her daughter, Cecelia, to control her.

In present day, Andrew soon turns on Millie and wants to do the same (locking her up, torturing her) to her, but Millie finds some pepper spray in the attic room and attacks Andrew, locking him in the room and torturing him instead. We then learn that Millie went to jail for accidentally killing and attempted rapist and has a few other violent incidents in her past. Nina knew about it all along. She not only wanted Millie to be a replacement, she was also hoping Millie would kill Andrew.

When he dies, Nina offers to take the blame for it, since it’s what she wanted all along, she just didn’t have it in her to kill him. But when the police detective comes to question her it turns out his daughter was Andrew’s ex-fiance who was traumatized by him. The detective concludes the death was an accident. In the Epilogue, Millie interviews for a cleaning job but it becomes clear the woman really just wants Millie to kill her abusive husband. Millie takes the job.

For more detail, see the Chapter-by-Chapter Summary.

Book #2

The Housemaid’s Secret

February 20, 2023  |  Review  |  Chapter Summary

Four years later, Millie is still housekeeper, though she spent many years helping women get out of abusive relationships. Millie gets hired by Wendy for that purpose, to get away from her husband Douglas. When things get ugly, Millie shoots Douglas, and he dies. However, Wendy soon claims to the police that Millie was having an affair with Douglas and shot him because he ended things with her.

It’s revealed that Wendy has been having an affair and wanted to leave Douglas, but the prenup meant she would get nothing. The man Millie “shot” was actually Wendy’s lover, Russell. But there were blanks in the gun. Instead, Wendy invited the real Douglas over afterwards and shoots him for real, and then framed Millie for it.

Millie reaches out to her ex Enzo and together they figure out what happened. Meanwhile, Wendy finds out Douglas left all his money to charity in his will. Also, he installed a security camera at their place so the police know what really happened. Then, Russell’s wife Marybeth confronts Wendy and Russell. She kills Russell and forces Wendy to give a confession and write a suicide note. She drugs Wendy to force her to overdose on heart medication (which it turns out Millie gave to Marybeth for that purpose).

Millie is exonerated and moves in with Enzo. Officer Benito Rodriguez at the police station also talks to her and says that he knows about her reputation for helping domestic violence victims — and he’d like her to consider him a resource if she needs help in the future.

For more detail, see the Chapter-by-Chapter Summary.

Book #3

The Housemaid is Watching

June 11, 2024  |  Review  |  Chapter Summary

Thirteen years after the events of The Housemaid’s Secret, Millie is now a social worker. She and Enzo, a landscaper, are married with two kids — Nico, 9, and Ada, 11. They’ve just moved into a new house, and their neighbor flirty Suzette asks Enzo to help with her backyard. They hire Suzette’s housemaid Martha to clean for them as well. Suzette and Enzo spend a lot of time together. When money goes missing from Millie and Enzo’s joint account, Millie starts to suspect Enzo is cheating on her. Soon, Suzette’s husband Jonathan winds up dead with his throat slit. Enzo denies that it was him, saying that the missing money had to do with helping Martha escape her abusive husband.

The police suspect Enzo since he went to at Suzette’s house two hours before the murder. They get a search warrant and find a pocket knife at Millie’s house that has traces of Jonathan’s blood on it. When he learns this, Enzo admits to Millie that he killed Jonathan.

However, after Enzo is arrested, Millie’s daughter Ada then says that she was the one who killed Jonathan and that Enzo is covering for her. It’s revealed that Ada found out that Nico had been acting out because Mr. Lowell had been forcing him to go over to their house to “play” in a hidden room. Ada went to confront Mr. Lowell and when he wouldn’t let her leave, she stabbed him with a pocket knife that Enzo had given her for protection.

Millie learns about this, and an NYPD detective friend of hers, Benito, also tells her that the DNA of a local boy who went missing was also found in the Lowell home. Millie and Benito confront Suzette and force her to admit to murdering her husband (saying she found out about his misdeeds) or Benito is going to come after her for the murder of the missing boy, since her DNA was found in the hidden room as well. Suzette confesses to killing her husband.

In the Epilogue, it’s revealed that even though Ada stabbed Jonathan, it was actually Martha, who had happened to come back to steal a few things, who finished him off by slicing his throat.

Do I need to read the previous books in the series? Are these standalone books?

These all function as standalone books, but it’s better to read them in order for both context and to prevent spoiling the ending of the books.

How many books are in the series? Have many books are expected?

There are currently three books in the series. McFadden has stated the third book will be the final book of the series.

What should I know before reading The Housemaid is Watching?

The main thing to know is that Millie is exonerated of any crimes by the end of The Housemaid’s Secret, and she and Enzo (the landscaper she originally meets in Book #1) are blissfully back together.

Also, at the very end of The Housemaid’s Secret (Book #2), she’s made a new police connection in the form of Officer Rodriguez who has learned about the work she’s been doing with abuse victims and has offered to be a resource in the future, when needed.

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