The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for The Maid by Nita Prose are below. Spoiler warning: these summaries contains spoilers.
For a non-spoiler version of the plot synopsis, see The Bibliofile's review of The Maid by Nita Prose.
The two-paragraph version of this: Molly Gray is a maid at a hotel who finds a the dead body of Mr. Black, a wealthy real estate tycoon, in a guest room. Meanwhile, Molly has been doing favors for Giselle, Mr. Black’s (second) wife, and the hotel’s head barman Rodney. When Molly is arrested for Mr. Black’s murder, Molly realizes she’s been framed.
She soon learns that Giselle and Rodney are lovers who were planning on running away together and that Rodney was working for Mr. Black by running a drug operation (which Molly unwittingly had assisted in) through the hotel. With help from others, Molly concocts a plan so that Rodney is caught red-handed with the drugs and is arrested for the murder (Giselle wasn’t involved, so Molly encourages her to run away). In the Epilogue, it’s revealed that Molly knew all along that the real killer was Mr. Black’s first wife, whose daughter Victoria had been trying to clean up his company.
Molly Gray, 25, is a maid at an upscale boutique hotel, the Regency Grand Hotel, where she’s worked for four years. Molly is socially awkward, has difficulty interpreting body language and social situations, and her Gran who raised her passed away 9 months ago. Charles Black, a real estate magnate, and his (second) wife Giselle Black are frequent guests of the hotel. Giselle is friendly and generous with Molly and has told Molly about her unhappy marriage.
On Monday, Molly finds the dead body of Mr. Black in his hotel suite. Giselle was upset earlier that day, and Charles’s company, Black Properties & Investments, has been in turmoil lately due to a tussle over ownership and control with his daughter, Victoria Black. Victoria’s mother is Charles’s first wife, and Victoria owns 49% of the shares of the company.
At the scene, Molly notices an open bottle of Giselle’s pills next to the body, money missing from the room’s safe, a flight itinerary for two one-way tickets to the Cayman Island in Giselle’s purse, and she had seen Mr. Black holding a deed of some sort earlier that day. The police question Molly, but Molly withholds a lot of information to prevent incriminating Giselle, who she considers a friend. Giselle has previously told Molly about Charles’s cheating and abusive behavior, but Molly keeps all of it to herself.
On Tuesday, Molly’s landlord Mr. Russo reminds her of her late rent payment. At work, the head bartender Rodney asks to meet up with Molly after her shift to talk about what she witnessed. Molly eagerly agrees since she’s infatuated with Rodney, and she views this as their second date.
Over a year-and-a-half ago, Molly had walked in to clean a room where she was stopped by two large men, and she saw Rodney and Juan Manuel (one of the kitchen dishwashers) in the room, too. Rodney had asked to talk with her afterwards, which Molly had interpreted to be a date. Over dinner, he’d asked her not to tell anyone else what she saw involving the men, a package and a duffle bag. Rodney claimed that he was helping Juan Manuel, an undocumented worker. He also asked for Molly’s help in getting keycards for empty rooms that Juan could use each night and to clean those rooms afterwards. Molly had agreed and had been giving Juan Manuel keycards each day since then.
In present day, Molly meets up with Rodney who asks her what she witnessed yesterday and how the police questioning had gone. She starts to get irritated and suspicious when he asks if the police said anything about him. However, she dismisses those thoughts when he asks to exchange phone numbers. Afterwards, Mr. Preston the doorman sees them together, and he warns Molly to be careful with Rodney.
Molly has only ever had one ex-boyfriend, Wilbur. Molly and her grandmother had saved up money so that Molly could attend college, and Molly had met Wilbur, a soon-to-be accounting student, at college orientation just before she was supposed to start her hospitality management program. They’d been dating until one day Wilbur went with her to deposit a check in her account and saw her key in her PIN number. He cleaned out her account, and she never heard from him again. Molly didn’t report it since she didn’t want her grandmother to know what had happened.
When Molly gets home, she finds Giselle waiting outside her apartment building. (Giselle is currently staying at another room in the hotel). Inside, Giselle fills Molly in on what’s been going on. She says that she and Charles had gotten in an argument yesterday when she asked to have a piece of property (a villa in the Cayman Islands) in her name because their prenup means she gets nothing. However, Giselle insists she didn’t kill Charles, and Molly believes her.
Giselle also asks Molly about what she saw and told the police. Hearing that Molly tried to be discreet, Giselle hugs Molly and gives her $200. Then, Giselle asks Molly for a favor. She says she left a gun in the bathroom fan in the crime scene suite and asks Molly to fetch it for her. Molly agrees to get it.
On Wednesday, the police are done inspecting the Black suite, and Molly is assigned to clean it up. Rodney suggests that Juan Manuel should stay there for a while once it’s clean since the hotel is unlikely to be renting it out for a while anyway. He gives Molly a duffle bag to put in there. That morning, Molly cleans up the suite, places the duffle bag there and fetches Giselle’s gun from the bathroom. Molly puts the gun in her extra vacuum filter to hide it.
Molly also finds Mr. Black’s wedding band in the room. Molly decides to pawn it at a pawn shop over lunch. When she returns back to the hotel, the police are there looking to question Molly again. They confront her about not having been forthcoming about what she knows about Giselle and Charles.
That night, Molly uses the money from the pawnshop to pay the remainder of her late rent. Afterwards, she’s feeling upset, and she calls Rodney. She confides in him about Giselle’s gun and about pawning Mr. Black’s wedding band.
On Thursday morning, Molly is arrested for Mr. Black’s murder and the police know everything that Molly had told Rodney. By now, it’s been established that Mr. Black died of asphyxiation. Molly calls Mr. Preston for help. His daughter, Charlotte, is a lawyer. Charlotte offers to represent Molly and helps to put up the bail so Molly can be released.
They review the details of what happened, and they talk to Juan Manuel as well. It turns out that Mr. Black had been running a drug operation through the hotel and that Rodney was working for him. The duffle bags that Rodney had asked Molly to place in the empty rooms that Juan Manuel was in every night were filled with cocaine. Rodney had also been forcing Juan Manuel to work for them. (Rodney had introduced Juan Manuel to a layer to get his work permit extended, but the lawyer had taken Juan Manuel’s money and left him with an expired permit. Rodney had then threatened Juan Manuel and his family unless he cooperated.) It also turns out that Rodney and Giselle were lovers, and Giselle had wanted them to run away to the Cayman Islands to start a new life.
In present day, the group discusses and comes up with a plan to help Molly. That night, they trick Rodney into going up into the Black suite to fetch a duffle bag of cocaine. When he does, the police apprehend him red-handed and he’s arrested for the murder of Mr. Black. Molly is cleared of all charges. (Giselle would have been arrested, too, except that Molly called her and Giselle swore that she knew about the drugs, but had nothing to do with the murder or framing Molly. Molly decides to tell Giselle to get her passport and run away.)
That night, Molly thinks about her Gran’s death and how her Gran (in her final days of dying of pancreatic cancer) had asked Molly to smother her with a pillow to stop the pain. Molly had done it.
On Friday, Molly’s boss Mr. Snow offers her and Juan Manuel their jobs back.
Several Months Later, Molly and Juan Manuel are now dating, and Molly has recently been promoted to Head Maid. Juan Manuel has recently moved in with Molly, and she is slowly rebuilding her savings so she can attend a hospitality management program while she works. Today, Molly receives a $10,000 deposit into her account from “Sandy Cayman”, who she realizes must be Giselle and that Giselle is now in the Cayman Islands by herself.
Molly also thinks back to the testimony she gave yesterday when Rodney was convicted of murder. She had told the court about how when she found the body, she’d fainted because she’d seen a shadowy figure holding a pillow. She says that she didn’t say anything before since she wasn’t entirely sure what she’d seen.
In the Epilogue, Molly explains that she really did see a shadowy figure. She fainted because the image of them holding a pillow reminded her of herself when she smothered her Gran (at Gran’s request). However, at court it was implied that it could’ve been Rodney. Instead, Molly knows exactly who it was — the killer was the first Mrs. Black (Charles’s first wife and the mother of Victoria Black).
Mrs. Black had helped Molly up after she fainted and explained that she’d gone there to talk to Mr. Black, but he had gotten physical with her. She told Molly about how her daughter Victoria had been trying to clean up the company, but Mr. Black had resisted. She suggested that Molly help her to “turn the tables” on bad men like Mr. Black by not telling anyone about her (Mrs. Black) being there. Molly had agreed.
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Several Months Later
In the prologue, the narrator talks about how she cleans people’s rooms which allows her to know everything about them. However, they know very little about her.
Molly Gray, 25, works as a maid at Regency Grand Hotel, an art-deco-styled five-star boutique hotel. Molly’s mother left when she was young, and Molly was raised by her beloved Gran, who passed away nine months ago. Molly now feels a little lonely living all alone.
Molly takes pride in her work and likes her job. Additionally, she considers herself to be socially awkward and has trouble reading expressions, body language and social cues, so she appreciates the anonymity that her maid’s uniform gives her. Her boss is Mr. Alexander Snow, the hotel manager.
Today around 3:00 PM, Molly has discovered a hotel guest, Mr. Charles Black, dead in his bed in Suite 401, a penthouse suite. Charles, a real-estate magnate (who owned many of the buildings in the city, but not the hotel), and his wife Giselle Black, a socialite, are frequent guests of the hotel.
Molly had cleaned most of Suite 401 earlier that day, apart from the bathroom since it had been occupied by Giselle taking a shower. Giselle had seemed upset. While Giselle was typically quite talkative, that wasn’t the case that day. Later, when Molly returns that afternoon to finish cleaning, she finds the body. Mr. Black is lying flat on his back with his shoes were off. Molly initially thinks that he’s napping, but she soon realizes he is not breathing.
Next to the body is open bottle of Giselle’s medication with some of the blue pills spilling out onto the table and floor. Molly also notes that the safe in the room is still open, as it was earlier that day, but some items are now missing. Additionally, a paper she’d noticed in Mr. Black’s breast pocket earlier that day is missing. And one of the four pillows from the bed is not there.
Upon realizing Mr. Black is dead, Molly calls the front desk to tell them and then faints. When she collects herself, she calls again, this time asking Mr. Snow and informing him of the situation. 13 minutes later, Mr. Snow arrives with medical personnel and police, and he guides Molly down to his office to wait with some tea and biscuits.
Sitting in Mr. Snow’s office, Molly thinks through everything she did that day. She recalls entering through the front doors, despite knowing that employees are technically supposed to enter through the service entrance. She’d then greeted Mr. Preston, the hotel’s doorman for the last two decades. Mr. Preston is a widower whose wife Mary is deceased, and he has a daughter who is a lawyer.
Afterwards, Molly had put on her uniform and fetched her trolley — which she noted had not been property replenished by her supervisor, Cheryl Green (referred to by others “Chernobyl” behind her back), so Molly took care of that. Cheryl is “slovenly and lazy”, plus she “cheats and cuts corners”. Cheryl arrives late that day as usual. Molly knows it’s likely because Cheryl often heads to the top floors in the morning to steal the tips from the penthouse suites, even though Molly is the one who cleans them. That day, Sunshine, a friendly Filipino woman, and Sunitha, a quiet Sri Lankan woman, are the two other maids on shift with Molly.
Next, Molly goes down to greet Juan Manuel, a young dishwasher in the kitchen. She sneaks Juan a hotel keycard for a room that he can stay in for that night, something she’s been doing for a year now ever since head bartender Rodney Stiles informed her of his friend Juan’s difficult personal situation. Juan’s family lives in Mexico, and his father died two year ago, putting them in financial straits. Juan is the oldest of his six siblings, and he sends money home to help support his family. Molly notices that Juan has red marks on his wrists today.
From there, Molly goes to see Rodney at Social Bar & Grill, the hotel’s restaurant and bar. Molly and Rodney went on one date over a year ago, and she hopes he’ll someday ask her out again. She also thinks bitterly about the only (ex) boyfriend she’s ever had, Wilbur Brown, who had been a “liar and a cheat”. In the elevator, Molly crosses paths with Mr. and Mrs. Chen, a polite Taiwanese couple who are also hotel regulars.
At Social, Molly picks up the stack of newspapers to be distributed to the guests. Rodney points out a headline about the Blacks (“Family Feud Rocks Black Empire”). The article indicates that Victoria Black, Charles’s daughter with his first wife, has a 49% ownership stake in the company, but Charles wants all those shares back. However, the first Mrs. Black believes Victoria should keep the shares and run the company. Charles and the first Mrs. Black also had two other children, both of whom are sons who their mother considers to be “flakes”. Charles married Giselle two years ago, and the article says that’s what started the company’s current turmoil.
After that, Molly had then headed up to Suite 401, the Black’s suite. At the front door, Mr. Black had barreled past her with a piece of as paper that read “DEED” tucked into his breast pocket. Inside, Giselle seemed to be crying and disheveled, and she runs off into the shower. As Molly cleans, in Giselle’s expensive yellow purse, Molly notices a flight itinerary for two one-way tickets to the Canary Islands. Meanwhile, the safe in the room is open, and inside is one passport, some legal documents and at least 5 stacks of cash.
When Giselle finally emerges from the shower, Molly offers to come back later to finish cleaning, and Giselle agrees. Molly leaves the room, though as she cleans the other rooms on the floor, she worries about Giselle, who has always been friendly toward Molly.
As she heads over to Mr. and Mrs. Chen’s room, Molly runs into Cheryl, who claims she’s there to help take out the dirty sheets as a favor to Molly, but Molly declines her offer, assuming that Cheryl is merely trying to go in to steal her tip.
In present day in Mr. Snow’s office, Molly hears footsteps, and Mr. Snow soon enters along with a female officer, Detective Stark. Detective Stark notes that they think it’s likely that Mr. Black died of a heart attack, but she still wants to take Molly to the station to take her witness statement. She soon ushers Molly out the door.
As Detective Stark drives Molly to the station, Molly says that she’s worked at the Regency for a little over four years. At the station, Molly’s placed in a small interrogation room. When asked, Molly identifies the bottle of blue pills as main thing out of the ordinary that was out of place in the Black suite. However, in the interest of not incriminating Giselle (who Molly likes), Molly purposefully does not mention some of the other details like the flight itinerary or safe. Molly is well aware that Giselle is the most likely person they would suspect.
Molly thinks back to meeting Giselle and how Giselle had shaken her hand, unlike other guests. Giselle had asked Molly about herself, and she’d talked about her own life, too. Giselle had told Molly about how Charles was a “tyrant” and how she had no privacy. Meanwhile, Molly had talked to Giselle about her financial difficulties, her terrible ex and her Gran. Giselle had given her a $100 tip that day, and they’d eventually grown to be friends. Molly would help Giselle with various errands outside when the paparazzi were hounding Giselle outside. Meanwhile, Giselle tried to advise her on how to behave more socially acceptably, and she gave Molly makeup and hair advice.
Later, Giselle had told her about how an older woman had mentored her on how to meet and marry a rich man, but now she was unhappily living a life where Charles cheated on her, bossed her around, was physically abusive and was jealous all the time. Giselle had then gifted Molly a brass hourglass which Giselle’s mentor had previously given to Giselle. Molly decided to keep it in her locker at work.
In present day with Detective Stark, Molly describes Mr. Black as being aloof and drinking a lot. As for Giselle, Molly implies to the officers that they never spoke, though Molly knows it’s not true, since she doesn’t want to help them potentially investigate Giselle.
Back at home that evening, Molly misses her Gran and thinks about all the things they used to do together, like cooking and cleaning and eating dinner together while watching Columbo reruns. Molly starts to clean, thinking about how Gran taught her the value of keeping a neat house.
Gran had also been a maid, working for the Coldwell family at their mansion nearby. Gran had saved up some money so that Molly could pursue more ambitious dreams, but Molly had some sense of her own limitations and insisted on become a maid as well. Molly had gotten the job at the Regency and the two of them had continued saving up. Molly had soon been accepted into a college hospitality management program. Just before classes started, Molly had met Wilbur at orientation. He was starting an accounting program, and the two soon started dating.
Things went smoothly with Wilbur until Molly saw him steal a calculator from an office-supply store one day. Then later, Wilbur went with Molly as she deposited her paycheck, and she failed to notice as he watched her key in the PIN code. That night, he left and stopped responding. A week later, Molly realized her ATM card was missing and their checking account had been emptied. Molly didn’t call the police since she didn’t want to tell Gran what had happened and kept to herself instead.
Shortly after, Gran learned that she had pancreatic cancer, and she resigned from her job at the Coldwells. Meanwhile, Molly didn’t want to worry Gran and kept their financial troubles a secret while increasing her hours as the hotels to make ends meet. Molly also knew she’d no longer be able to afford her college tuition.
In present day, Molly is jolted out of her thoughts by the sound of the phone ringing. When she picks up, it’s Mr. Snow asking if Molly can work tomorrow on her day off (since Cheryl is taking the day off, claiming to have been traumatized by the death of Mr. Black). Molly agrees.
At 6:00 AM the next morning, Molly begins her day. She’s soon greeted by Mr. Russo, her landlord, who reminds her that her rent is late. Molly reassures him that she just needs a few extra days.
When she gets to work, Molly asks Mr. Preston if Mr. Black received any visitors yesterday, and Mr. Preston says there were none that he knows of. Meanwhile, the newspaper’s front page story is about the death of Mr. Black. It also discusses how there had been rumors of fraud and embezzlement going on in the company, Black Properties & Investments.
The article additionally mentions that Giselle was seen leaving the hotel accompanied by an “unknown male”. However, Mr. Snow privately tells Molly that Giselle is still staying at the hotel currently, but now staying in a room on the second floor that Sunitha is responsible for cleaning. He also tells her that the Black’s suite is currently out-of-bounds and to be left alone.
After putting on her uniform and getting her trolley, Molly gives Juan Manuel the key for Room 202 to stay in for tonight. Afterwards, Molly sees Rodney and notices that his right eye is swollen and purple, though he claims he accidentally ran into a door. Rodney then asks Molly to come by after her shift today so she can tell him what she witnessed yesterday, and Molly eagerly agrees.
As Molly heads into the elevator, she runs into a uniformed officer, who heads for the Black suite. Meanwhile, Molly goes to clean a different room. As Molly busies herself with work, she thinks back to her first “date” with Rodney.
Molly’s mind flashes back to over a year and a half ago, when she was stopped by two large men when she tried to enter Room 305. Molly could see that Rodney and Juan Manuel were in the room behind them. Juan Manuel was holding a package, and the situation seemed to be tense. Molly didn’t understand what was going on.
Molly recalls how Juan Manuel told Molly to leave when he saw her, while Rodney reassured the two other men that Molly doesn’t understand what is going on and would be discreet about what she saw here. Rodney also ordered Juan Manuel around, referencing Juan’s family in Mexico when Juan didn’t immediately comply. Finally, Molly reassured everyone that her focus was on cleaning and not gossip, and they all exited the room. It was then that Rodney asked her to meet up after her shift.
As the end of the day neared, Molly ducked into a nearby shop to buy an outfit for what she viewed as a “date” with Rodney. At 6:00 PM, Molly met up with Rodney, and they headed to a nearby Olive Garden. When Mr. Preston saw Molly leaving with Rodney, he seemed disapproving and concerned.
Once situated at the restaurant, Rodney had explained to Molly that the men she saw in that room today are friends with Juan Manuel and that the duffle bag that they were holding belonged to Juan Manuel, too. He told her that Juan Manuel is an undocumented worker, and that he (Rodney) was helping him sort things out. Rodney also asked Molly for her help in finding rooms for Juan Manuel to stay in and asked her to discreetly clean them before afterwards. In response, Molly agreed to all of it and promised not to say anything to anyone about it.
Back in present day, Molly is finishing up her shift, and she heads down to Social to meet up with Rodney. They pick a booth in the back, and Rodney asks her about what she saw yesterday. Molly describes finding Mr. Black dead. When Rodney asks about anything suspicious, Molly mentions the missing money from the safe, the deed that she’d seen in Mr. Black’s pocket and the bottle of pills.
Despite her infatuation with Rodney, as he asks questions about Mr. Black, Molly starts to feel uncomfortable, and she gets suspicious when he asks if the police asked anything about him (Rodney). Still, when he offers to exchange numbers with Molly, Molly’s irritation subsides, and she eagerly agrees. Rodney encourages her to call him if the police continuing asking her questions.
Afterwards, Mr. Preston sees them together, and he warns Molly to be careful with Rodney.
Walking home, Molly dismisses Mr. Preston’s comment about Rodney. Molly is surprised to see Giselle waiting outside her door when she arrives home, and Giselle asks to be invited in. In her apartment, Molly feels realizes it’s not as grand as what Giselle must be used to, but Giselle tells Molly that she originally grew up in the not-so-nice part of Detroit until she left home.
Giselle tells Molly about being questioned extensively by the police and about a phone call she received from Victoria. She says that Charles’s death means that Victoria has over 50% ownership interest and therefore control over the company now.
Giselle also says that she and Charles got into a fight yesterday. Giselle signed a pre-nup before they got married that ensured Charles kept everything, and he used money to control her. Yesterday, she’d asked him to cancel the pre-nup or at least let her have a villa in her name to call her own. He flew off the handle at that request and left the room, which is when Molly entered.
Giselle then asks Molly what she told the police and what she saw at the scene. Molly tells her about the spilled pill bottle and the open safe. Molly makes clear that she didn’t volunteer any information about Giselle’s relationship to Charles to the police, and Giselle hugs Molly in response.
Giselle asks Molly to be her maid instead of Sunitha at the hotel, since she says she trusts Molly. Giselle tells Molly that she’s like a sister to her and gives her $200. Then, Giselle asks Molly to retrieve something from the crime scene suite — she says it’s a gun that she tucked away in the bathroom fan. Molly feels anxious, but agrees to try to get it. Before Giselle leaves, Molly asks who gave Giselle her address, but Giselle says she doesn’t remember.
On Wednesday morning, Molly gives Mr. Rosso the two hundred dollars that Giselle had given her, and she promises to pay the rest of the rent by later that day. At work, Mr. Preston greets Molly and reminds her that she can count on him if she ever needs help. (Mr. Preston was friends with Molly’s Gran.) Meanwhile, Cheryl informs her that the police are done with the Black suite and that it’s ready to be cleaned. Mr. Snow notes that the hotel is especially busy now with reservations from people who are curious about the Blacks and hoping to catch a glimpse of Giselle.
When Molly sees Rodney, she lets slip that Giselle came to see her last night. Before she can say more, Rodney suggests that Molly let Juan Manuel stay in the Black suite once it’s cleaned up since it’s unlikely the hotel will be renting it out anytime soon. Rodney also asks Molly to put Juan Manuel’s duffle bag in the room. Molly readily agrees to both requests. She then suggests to Rodney that they hang out some time, and he non-committally agrees.
Back in the Black suite, Molly surveys the mess the police left behind, and she gets to work cleaning. Once the room is fully sanitized, Molly places Juan Manuel’s duffle bag under the bed, as Rodney had requested. In the bathroom, Molly fetches Giselle’s gun from the bathroom fan. Sure enough, she’s able to locate it and she slips it into a vacuum filter to hide it. As she swaps out the vacuum filter, a heavier object falls to the floor, and Molly sees that it’s Mr. Black’s jewel-encrusted wedding band. She keeps the ring.
When Sunitha sees Molly, she warns Molly to be careful and that there can be “snakes” in the (metaphorical) grass. Molly doesn’t know what she means. Instead, Molly heads out for her lunch break, which she typically skips. However, today, Molly goes to a pawn shop and pawns Mr. Black’s ring.
When Molly returns after lunch, Mr. Preston warns her to turn around and go home, but Molly proceeds anyway. She’s stopped by Mr. Snow and Detective Stark, who wants to question Molly again.
Back in the interrogation room, Detective Stark tells Molly that the blue pills were not medicine, but rather benzodiazepine that had been laced with street drugs. However, she says that isn’t what killed Mr. Black. Instead, it was petechial hemorrhaging that killed him and they’re awaiting the autopsy to learn more.
Detective Stark confronts Molly by saying that she knows Molly was lying about not knowing Giselle well. Detective Stark also asks if Giselle ever gave Molly extravagant tips. Detective Stark also brings out the brass hourglass that Giselle had given Molly, and Molly realizes that they must’ve gotten it from her locker.
Molly continues to say little, and finally Detective Stark instructs Molly not to leave the country and warns Molly that they’ll be keeping an eye on her.
Back at home, Molly gives Mr. Russo the rest of the rent money using the money she got from the pawn shop. Back in her apartment, Molly thinks about her Gran and how heartbroken her Gran had been the day her Gran told her that her mother was dead. Molly’s father had been a “bad egg” and had gotten Molly’s father involved in drugs. Gran had given Molly’s mother money for a while, but when she stopped, Molly’s mother stopped calling.
In present day, Molly calls Rodney asking for help, worried that the police suspect her. She tells him about the gun she retrieved for Giselle. Rodney responds that they need to get rid of the gun, and Molly enthusiastically agrees. She also tells Rodney about taking and pawning Mr. Black’s ring. She’s worried that if the police find out, it’ll incriminate her. Rodney reassures her that he’ll take care of everything.
The next morning, Molly is awoken by the sound of knocking on the door. She answers it and finds three police officers there along with Detective Stark. Stark informs Molly that she’s being charged with “unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of drugs, and first-degree murder”.
Molly faints in response, and when she awakens, she’s in a holding cell, still dressed in her pajamas. She’s led to an interrogation room by Stark, who offers her coffee and a muffin. Stark also informs Molly that the autopsy results show that Mr. Black died of asphyxiation.
When Stark accuses Molly of murder, Molly insists on her innocence. She admits to Stark that she wasn’t forthcoming about her friendship with Giselle. Stark also says that Cheryl followed her to the pawn shop and that they know Molly pawned the ring. Stark also says that Mr. Snow told them that he’s seen Molly take food from discarded trays at the hotel. Stark additionally says that Rodney described Molly as being “capable of murder” and that they found Giselle’s gun in Molly’s vacuum filter, so Molly realizes that Rodney must have told them.
Finally, Stark says that Mr. Black was running a drug operation from the hotel, and she believes Giselle introduced Molly to Mr. Black to start working for him. Stark thinks something must have gone wrong or that she was helping Giselle and so Molly killed Mr. Black.
At that point, Molly decides to ask for a lawyer and a phone call. She calls Mr. Preston to ask for help.
Mr. Preston soon shows up with Charlotte Preston, his daughter who is a lawyer with the firm Billings, Preston & García. Charlotte tells Stark that she has posted the $800,000 bail on Molly behalf, and she tells Molly the bail hearing is later today.
At the courthouse for the bail hearing, Molly is represented by a government-appointed lawyer, and she’s granted bail by Judge Wight.
Mr. Preston and Charlotte drive Molly back to her home after the bail hearing. They inform Molly that Charlotte will be representing her pro bono (for free). Mr. Preston also instructs Molly not to talk to anyone from work for the time being. Back at the apartment, Mr. Rosso is upset that the police were here because of Molly and he tells her that he’s evicting her. However, Charlotte points out that the building is in violation of a number of building codes and tells him not to hassle Molly or else.
When they’re all situated with tea, Charlotte starts asking Molly questions about what happened. Mr. Preston notes that last week Victoria Black had been at the hotel, and Giselle had been upset when Victoria left. Mr. Preston also says that Charles Black often cheated on both Giselle and his former wife with various young women or possibly prostitutes.
Molly admits that Giselle asked her to fetch the gun and that she did it. Molly also admits to finding and pawning the wedding band. As for the traces of cocaine that the police found on her trolley, however, Molly says she has no idea how they got there.
Molly also tells Charlotte that she told Rodney about the gun and ring. Mr. Preston explains to Molly that Rodney probably used Cheryl to tip off the police about the ring, which is why the police think the information came from Cheryl. Mr. Preston also suggests that Rodney may be involved with the drug trade going on at the hotel.
Finally, Molly tells them about the situation with Juan Manuel and about how Rodney asked for her help in finding empty rooms for him to stay in. As they talk, Molly finally realizes that Rodney has been using her to cover up his drug dealing activities and that Rodney has been forcing Juan Manuel to help him (which is why he was threatening his family and why there were red marks on Juan Manuel’s wrists). Mr. Preston says they’ve probably been forcing Juan Manuel to cut the drugs each night at the hotel, and Charlotte tells Molly that they’ve been using her as a drug mule (by asking her to put duffle bags filled with drugs in the rooms).
Next, they try to contact Juan Manuel. Mr. Preston lets Juan know that they believe he’s in danger and that Molly has been framed for Mr. Black’s murder. They ask Juan Manuel to come talk to them. Molly asks if she should call Rodney to explains himself, too, but Charlotte says no. She’s already looked into his background and it shows that he’s gotten into plenty of trouble in the past.
Juan Manuel shows up to tell his part of the story. Before, he had a work permit, but he needed to get it extended. Rodney introduced him to a lawyer who took Juan Manuel’s money, but didn’t get his permit extended. Instead, Rodney asked Juan Manuel to help him out by preparing cocaine to be sold (carted around in the duffle bags that Molly had been asked by Rodney to put in the room each day). When Juan said he didn’t want to, Rodney threatened to find and hurt Juan Manuel’s family in Mexico. The two men would watch him each night as he did this and they hurt him if he stopped.
Juan Manuel also says that he doesn’t have hard evidence of Rodney’s interactions with Mr. Black, but he does have evidence that Rodney was involved with Giselle. Juan Manuel then shows them all a photo of Rodney and Giselle kissing. Charlotte notes that Rodney and Giselle may have killed Mr. Black and then framed Molly together. Finally, Mr. Preston says he has an idea for a plan to outsmart them.
For the next hour or so, they hash out the details of the plan and then rehearse the parts. They then kick it off with Molly texting Rodney, asking to meet up urgently to discuss Mr. Black’s murder and what she said to the police. Rodney immediately responds, asking her to meet him at Olive Garden in 20 minutes. Molly then heads out.
When Rodney arrives, Molly tells Rodney about how Mr. Black was determined to have been asphyxiated. She also lies and says that apparently they don’t think she (Molly) was the one who did it. Instead, they think it was someone who was in the will. Molly also says that police mentioned that Giselle was left without anything in the will. Rodney looks surprised and distressed to hear this.
Molly also tell him that she ended up having to explain to the police the situation about Juan Manuel when the police mentioned they were going to sweep the Black suite again for clues. She says that she had to tell them all about Rodney and the duffle bags.
Rodney asks Molly to go clean up the suite before the police get there, but Molly says she can’t since Mr. Snow has asked her not to go to work. Instead, Molly suggests that she find a way to get the key for Rodney so that he can do it himself. Rodney reluctantly agrees.
Back at her apartment, Molly reports back to the group that the meeting with Rodney went smoothly. Now, Mr. Preston plans on going to the hotel to get Rodney the suite keycard. As for Juan Manuel, Charlotte recommends that he avoids going back to the hotel in case Rodney finds a way to entangle him in the plot. Instead, they plan for Juan Manuel to stay at Molly’s since he has nowhere else to go.
Molly and Mr. Preston take a cab over to the hotel. On the way, they hear that the police are having a press conference soon and may be announcing that Molly is their primary suspect, which would derail their plan. So, they know they have a limited amount of time to get things underway.
When they arrive, Molly texts Rodney claiming that she can’t get into the building. Then, Mr. Preston play his part, telling Molly she shouldn’t be here and calling for Mr. Snow. Mr. Snow shows up, and he lets Molly know that she’s been fired. Molly refuses to leave.
In the meanwhile, Mr. Preston has used the distraction to steal Cheryl’s master keycard. Mr. Preston gives it to Molly, and when Rodney shows up, Molly gives it to Rodney. Molly then leaves.
From a café across the street, Molly watches the hotel. She can see Mr. Preston inside as he makes a phone call. Meanwhile, Charlotte texts Molly, indicating that things are on track. On the news, they report that Molly is the main suspect, but it out on bail.
Just then, police cars show up to the hotel. At that moment, Molly calls Giselle, even though it isn’t part of the plan. She tells Giselle that she knows Rodney is her secret boyfriend. Giselle apologies to Molly, saying that she didn’t know this would happen and that Rodney was planning on framing Molly for the crime. Giselle says that the reason Rodney has a black eye right now is because she hit him when she found out. Giselle admits that she knew that Rodney was working for Mr. Black in his drug operations, but she promises that she didn’t know that Rodney had involved Molly in any way. Giselle says that she’d asked Mr. Black for the villa so that she and Rodney could fly off to the Cayman Islands and start a new life, but she had no idea what Rodney had planned.
Convinced that perhaps Giselle was telling the truth, Molly then tells Giselle that she should pack a bag, take her passport, go out the back door of the hotel and run away from there. Then, Molly hangs up.
Across the street at the hotel, Molly watches as Rodney emerges from the hotel in handcuffs. He’s accompanied by Detective Stark who is also carrying the duffle bag which is partially-unzipped, revealing the drugs inside. Rodney is then loaded into the police car. Detective Stark also spots Molly across the street and nods at Molly, indicating that she knows that she was wrong about her.
Molly then heads back to her apartment, and she tells Juan Manuel the good news that Rodney has been apprehended by the police. Meanwhile, Charlotte calls to let Molly know that she and Mr. Preston are headed to the police station to talk to Detective Stark.
As Molly and Juan Manuel have dinner, he apologizes for not trying harder to get her away from all of this. Eventually, Charlotte, Mr. Preston and Detective Stark show up at Molly’s front door. Stark lets them know that they’ll soon be issuing a correction on the news, clearing Molly of any wrongdoing. She says they entered the Black suite to catch Rodney red-handed with the drugs.
Stark also lets Juan Manuel know that they won’t be charging or deporting him. Instead, they just want his cooperation so that he can serve as a witness. Charlotte offers to put Juan Manuel in touch with the immigration lawyer at her firm who can help him get his work permit reinstated. Mr. Preston also lets both Molly and Juan Manuel know that he’s spoken to Mr. Snow and neither of them are fired.
Stark also says that Giselle was gone when they got to her room. Giselle left a note saying that she didn’t do it. Instead, she indicated that Rodney and Charles were working together. She asks if Molly knows anything more about Giselle, but Molly doesn’t share what she knows.
After Stark leaves, Molly thanks them for their help and kindness. Mr. Preston finally tells Molly about how he knew Molly’s Gran, who he knows as Flora. He says that dated when they were young and that he proposed when they were 16, and she accepted. However, her parents didn’t allow it since they saw him as being lower class than them.
Still, they stayed friends. Later, Flora asked him for help when she got pregnant at 17 and that man (Molly’s grandfather) left her. Flora’s parents turned her away, so Flora became a maid.
Later, when Mr. Preston’s wife Mary was on her deathbed, he says that Flora was the one who told her that it was clear that Mary was holding on until Mr. Preston told her it was okay for her to leave. He did, and Mary passed. Mr. Preston feels grateful to Flora for helping him to allow Mary to no longer be in pain.
After they all talk, they make plans to all have dinner together on Sunday. That night, Molly finally goes into her Gran’s room, something she’d been avoiding ever since Gran had passed, since Juan Manuel is staying in Molly’s room. Molly thinks about that last day that she had with Gran and how Gran had insisted on passing away at home instead of being taken to the hospital. Gran had asked her to put the remainder of her painkillers in her tea, and then she’d taken them all at once. Then, she’d asked Molly to do what she’d previously promised — to suffocate her with a pillow so she could die on her terms — which Molly had done with much reluctance.
The next morning, Molly awakes to the smells and sounds of Juan Manuel making breakfast for the both of them. After she eats, Mr. Snow calls to apologize for what happened and to ask her to please come back to work. Molly readily agrees. Mr. Snow then speaks to Juan Manuel and lets him know he can keep working since it looks like they’ll be able to resolve his work permit situation.
Several Months Later
Many months later, Molly is at work and Rodney’s trial has now concluded, with both Molly and Juan Manuel having testified against him the day before. Detective Stark had tried to convince Giselle to come testify, but Giselle had declined saying she didn’t want to waste any more time on “guilty men”.
Molly has continued getting together with the Prestons and Juan Manuel on Sundays. Molly was also promoted a month ago and is now Head Maid at the hotel (Cheryl was demoted). Molly and Juan Manuel are seeing each other now, and as of two months ago he moved in with her and is paying his share of the rent. Before that, Mr. Snow had been allowing Juan Manuel to stay in one of the rooms of the hotel for as long as he needed to get on his feet.
Molly is now trying to rebuild her savings with the hope of going back to do the hospitality management program that she’d enrolled in before. She plans to attend school and work at the same time, with the hopes of graduating in a year or two.
Molly thinks back to her testimony yesterday. On the stand, she’d brought up something that she hadn’t discussed with Charlotte beforehand. She’d said that after calling Reception, she’d looked at the mirror and realized that there was a shadowy person in the room, hiding next to the armoire and holding a pillow. However, she fainted before she could identify them for certain. When Rodney’s lawyer cross-examines Molly, he asks why she never mentioned this before, and Molly says it’s because she hadn’t been entirely certain of what she’d seen. She says that as a maid, her thoughts are often discounted or dismissed.
In present day, Molly receives a notification that $10,000 has been deposited in her bank account by someone named Sandy Cayman with a note that says “Debt of Gratitude”. Molly understands it must be from Giselle. Seeing that Giselle must be in the Cayman Islands, Molly knows that Mr. Black must’ve had a change of heart and had agreed to give Giselle the villa just before his death.
Later, Molly thinks about how she’s learning to be less literal. She thinks about how her testimony in court was her “version of the truth”. She thinks about how the justice system is flawed and how good people must take the opportunity to exact justice when they can.
That said, she clarifies that she really did see a shadowy figure with a pillow clutched in their hands the day she found Mr. Black’s body. Seeing it, she fainted because it reminded her of herself (from when she smothered Gran at Gran’s request).
Instead, the shadowy figure turned out to be Mrs. Black. Mrs. Black had explained to Molly that Charles Black was a bad man who was preventing her daughter Victoria from cleaning up the company. Mrs. Black said she came here to talk to Charles, but things escalated and Charles tried to hurt her. Mrs. Black then talked about how they should “turn the tables” on villains like Mr. Black, and she suggests to Molly that Molly not say anything about her having been there. Molly had then agreed to do so.
With that, Mrs. Black exited out the back, and Molly didn’t see her again.