The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-readi...

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Title:The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author:Ruth Ware
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Death of Mrs. Westaway Reviews

  • Jamie Rosenblit

    Family secrets, fortune telling and intrigue set at a gothic mansion - the set up was perfect. From the beginning, Hal receives a letter telling her about the inheritance she is entitled to, confused as she has no family, but scared because she has gotten herself into debt with some shady characters, she pursues the letter. Immediately, something is off - but what exactly is it? The mystery unfolds in such an intriguing way, I was instantly hooked and curious to know what was happening here. I r

    Family secrets, fortune telling and intrigue set at a gothic mansion - the set up was perfect. From the beginning, Hal receives a letter telling her about the inheritance she is entitled to, confused as she has no family, but scared because she has gotten herself into debt with some shady characters, she pursues the letter. Immediately, something is off - but what exactly is it? The mystery unfolds in such an intriguing way, I was instantly hooked and curious to know what was happening here. I really enjoyed the way the story played out and this was my favorite Ruth Ware to date. I liked

    but didn't think it was the masterpiece some other people did and I did not finish

    so I wasn't sure how this one would be for me - and I was thoroughly impressed. 5 stars from this bookworm!

    Thank you to Gallery, Threshold and Pocket Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

  • Dennis

    First and foremost, I'm happy to say that

    I've been a fan of Ruth Ware since Day 1.

    was such a good debut light-mystery novel and

    was one of my favorite mystery novels of all time. After my disappointment with

    , I still was hopeful for

    . Ruth Ware went back to her roots with

    and created a robust, multifaceted, and fascinating story. Seriously guys, I read this 360+

    First and foremost, I'm happy to say that

    I've been a fan of Ruth Ware since Day 1.

    was such a good debut light-mystery novel and

    was one of my favorite mystery novels of all time. After my disappointment with

    , I still was hopeful for

    . Ruth Ware went back to her roots with

    and created a robust, multifaceted, and fascinating story. Seriously guys, I read this 360+ page book in one sitting!

    Harriet (Hal) Westaway is a young twenty-something year old tarot card reader in Brighton, England. She is struggling to pay the bills; barely making rent while her business is providing dismal financial stability. With loan sharks out to enforce their illegal and exploitative payment plans, Hal is looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Her mother died years ago, and she has no family to lean on—she is utterly alone. As Hal checks her mail, she receives notice that her grandmother, Hester Mary Westaway, has recently passed away and has left Hal an inheritance of some kind. Hal believes this to be a clerical error of some kind because her grandparents have been dead for years. Desperate, Hal decides that she can fraudulently try and claim this inheritance as her own—she's been conning innocent people for years as a tarot card reader and this will just be another gig for her.

    When Hal arrives to the Westaway family home, she quickly finds herself immersed in a rich family history that quickly starts to crumble. Something is wrong with this family, but Hal just can't seem to grasp what is so concerning. In a world of family dynamics, betrayal, and greed;

    delivers a realistic mystery crime-fiction novel that will keep you hooked from page one.

    I know it's lame to compare author's works to each other, but in order to show the reasoning behind my five-star rating for

    , I'm going to have to tell you how this story differs from Ware's other works.

    This story is a lot more dense than

    and

    ; you can really see the progress Ruth Ware has made in her writing and she continually fine tunes it in this story. For about a good 30% of the book, we have the characterization of Hal set perfectly. At first, I immediately felt that this was going to be a slow burn novel, but I was wrong because everything comes full circle. We see Hal's desperation come to life and her willingness to deceive to survive. Hal is not the typical alcoholic unreliable narrator that we have come to

    Hal is entertaining and honestly refreshing. When we meet the secondary characters, they are all unique and interesting in their own way. Each character in

    is fully developed and multi-dimensional.

    After reading the synopsis, throw everything you think about Ruth Ware novels out the window.

    will keep you guessing until the very end

    .

  • Abby (Crime by the Book)

    Find my full review here:

    LOVED. THIS. BOOK!! I’m a huge fan of Ruth Ware’s work, and this was most definitely my favorite book of hers yet. It’s a brilliant plot with tinges of gothic suspense & a quasi-locked room mystery. Love, love, love!!!

  • Mackenzie

    This book had me completely hooked from page one! I have to give this 5 glowing stars for Ruth Ware—who if I’m being honest never disappoints me! This book was positively haunting!!! It was spooky yet meaningful, with lovely prose and compelling plot twists. I cannot recommend it enough!

    I finished this book last night. It was one of those books that I stayed up late on a work night to finish, because I was so invested in the story. Hal’s dilemma had me completely immersed in the book. I think mo

    This book had me completely hooked from page one! I have to give this 5 glowing stars for Ruth Ware—who if I’m being honest never disappoints me! This book was positively haunting!!! It was spooky yet meaningful, with lovely prose and compelling plot twists. I cannot recommend it enough!

    I finished this book last night. It was one of those books that I stayed up late on a work night to finish, because I was so invested in the story. Hal’s dilemma had me completely immersed in the book. I think most readers will find themselves wondering what they would do if they were in Hal’s position! One thing that Ruth Ware does so well in this book (and in her previous work) is to write about characters that are cut off from society in some way. Sometimes this is done through a setting or an experience, and other times it is done through their social predicament. Hal fell into the latter category, with a dash of the first.

    What I love about the way Ruth Ware isolates characters is how it makes you forget the noise of the rest of the world. It’s easy to put yourself in their shoes, because she writes in a way that their problem is so isolated, that it shines right off of the page. Hal’s predicament felt like it became my predicament! Hal’s strength, worries, and ideas felt like my own. I was able to fully empathize with her, and root for her along the way.

    Hal is alone in the world. Imagine being a young woman, raised by a single mother and with no other family, and then your mother passes away in a horrible accident. Hal has no money, no family, and no friends. All she has left from her mother is her Tarot Booth on the Promenade—named Madame Margarida, after her mother—and the strength to survive instilled in her since childhood. But what Hal also has is a debt that is hard to repay. Surviving comes at a cost, and Hal has run out of options. And then one day, a letter arrives…

    The letter informs Hal that she is set to receive some inheritance from the late Mrs. Westaway, her grandmother. The letter is addressed to Hal by name, and yet Hal knows it cannot be true. You see, Hal knows her grandparents all died long ago on her mother’s side, and the letter references Mrs. Westaway being her maternal grandmother. Still, with debt piling up higher and no chance to repay it, Hal wonders if her career of reading others and telling them what they need to hear might be just the thing to help her play the game long enough to earn a bit of inheritance.

    As Hal begins her journey to Trespassen House, she finds herself in over her head. It’s one thing to imagine taking a bit of money from those with plenty, but it’s another to place yourself in the center of someone else’s grief. The other Westaways are real people. And yet, there are many secrets in the home. Hal finds herself wondering if she isn’t the only person hiding something. And what will be the cost if those secrets come out?

    I have to gush for a moment about the settings in this book. Ruth Ware uses such descriptive language, and this book takes place in some truly fantastic settings. From the spooky, abandoned promenade, to the bare apartment, to the dark mansion—I fell in love with the locations described in this book! I could imagine the settings so vivdly, as though I was there myself. I also loved the opening chapters on Hal’s work in the Tarot booth, and the people and settings she interacts with. I won’t spoil them, but they jumped off of the page for me.

    The duality in Hal was also a high point for me. Hal is physically meek, but she has an inner strength. The way Hal has learned to play weaker than she is, and then her shows of surprising resilience and bravery were so wonderful. Hal is an easy character to admire and to root for. Hal is someone who has been cast aside in every way, but she has never allowed it to diminish her. Hal is caring but self-preserving. Hal is honest but deceptive. Hal is calculating but impulsive.

    Many readers will enjoy this book, and I recommend it highly.

    I am so grateful to NetGalley, to Ruth Ware, and to Gallery/Scout Press for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    See my review (and more!) here:

  • Reading.Between.Wines

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

    You guys, I am so torn about my feelings! I liked

    a whole lot more than

    , but I didn't love it like I loved

    . It was a bit repetitive (like describing how one man is doughy around the middle constantly), and Hal, the main character, said sorry so much that it started driving me crazy. However,

    did make me laugh out loud more than once, and I really enjoyed the diary entries that are interspersed thr

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

    You guys, I am so torn about my feelings! I liked

    a whole lot more than

    , but I didn't love it like I loved

    . It was a bit repetitive (like describing how one man is doughy around the middle constantly), and Hal, the main character, said sorry so much that it started driving me crazy. However,

    did make me laugh out loud more than once, and I really enjoyed the diary entries that are interspersed throughout.

    is about a girl named Hal who is down on her luck (to say the least). Her mom passed away, she owes a loan shark money, plus the tarot reading business she took over when her mom died is barely bringing enough money in to pay the bills, let alone pay off her loan. So when she gets a letter from a lawyer about being named in a dead woman's will who is supposedly her grandma (even though she knows she isn't), Hal jumps at the chance for some free money. Using what little she has, Hal hops a train and heads out to the estate. From there so much suspense ensues that this book was incredibly action packed.

    I never got bored with

    and the ending was like BAM, so crazy and I didn't see it coming. There was mystery and suspense from the first page which a lot of people are going to love. It also has an old-timey feel even though the latest the book goes back is the mid-90s. I honestly felt like I was reading something based in the 40s or 50s then someone would mention a phone and I'd be like whaaaat? I loved the old timey feel though, and it really made this book stand out for me.

    Final Thought: Even though this book didn't quite live up to what I was hoping it would be, I still really enjoyed it. I think a ton of people are going to enjoy this new creation from

    . It is just so different from her other books, but in a good way. Ware is definitely one of my favorite authors, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

    in 3-ish words: Imaginative, Delightful & Deceptive

  • Dorie

    After “The Lying Game” which was a little disappointing to me, I was thoroughly thrilled and engrossed in this new book. Ms. Ware has again written a twisty, dark, atmospheric thriller, this time throwing family, inheritance and sibling rivalry into the brew.

    Hal Westaway is still reeling from the death of her mother three months previously. She had to forgo her plans to attend college in order to take up her mother’s tarot reading kiosk on the pier in order to pay the bills. Still she fell short

    After “The Lying Game” which was a little disappointing to me, I was thoroughly thrilled and engrossed in this new book. Ms. Ware has again written a twisty, dark, atmospheric thriller, this time throwing family, inheritance and sibling rivalry into the brew.

    Hal Westaway is still reeling from the death of her mother three months previously. She had to forgo her plans to attend college in order to take up her mother’s tarot reading kiosk on the pier in order to pay the bills. Still she fell short and she make an enormous mistake, borrowing money from someone who was beginning to put pressure on her to pay back the loan with lots of interest and even more threats, bodily threats!

    While dealing with all of this and what her next step will be she gets a letter that she is heir to a substantial inheritance from her grandmother, Mrs. Westaway. Hal never knew that she had a grandmother and really thinks that there is a mix up but as she is pinned against the wall with the threat from her loan shark, she makes the decision to go to the funeral and see what the inheritance is all about. She is hoping for a few thousand pounds to help her get cleared of debt and start fresh.

    Once at Trepassen house, a falling down, once gorgeous estate, she discoveres that her inheritance is much more than just some money and her “uncles” are none too happy about it, with the exception of Ezra who seems to take her under his wing. The house lends a lot of creepiness to the story, including the terrible attic room which Hal is now sleeping in, with it’s bolts on the outside of the door and it’s message scratched into the window.

    Most of the family, however, embraces her as the daughter of their long lost sister and seem ready to accept her into the fold. Once the will is read, however, Hal is not so sure she wants any part of this, thinking she has perhaps dug herself into a really dark hole. Then she decides she will “take this step by step...with the slow, measured pace of a reading. She had to turn each card as it came, consider it, find it’s place in the story . . . . . only the next card was not a card at all, it was a photograph. the photograph . . . .”

    There are lots of characters quite well developed including the cranky, constantly lurking, Mrs. Warren, who has been the housekeeper since the uncles were children. She seems to know all of the secrets but seems to be biding her time, does she have a secret of her own?

    Mystery/thriller fans are going to love this new book, I did! The only thing that brought it down to a 4 was the fact that I figured out who the “bad guy” was and most of the mystery long before it was revealed. Still the ending is a great one and I loved every minute of this novel.

    Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for an ARC of this book.

  • Tammy

    Make no mistake, Mrs. Westaway does die but mistakes are made. Harriet (Hal) Westaway, a tarot card reader on the pier in Brighton, is seriously strapped for cash. Hal receives a letter indicating that, as the granddaughter of Mrs. Westaway, she is a beneficiary of her will. But, there has to be a mistake. Hal never knew Mrs. Westaway and her deceased mother’s name is not the name cited in the letter. She decides to commit fraud and attend the funeral as well as the reading of the will. Hal find

    Make no mistake, Mrs. Westaway does die but mistakes are made. Harriet (Hal) Westaway, a tarot card reader on the pier in Brighton, is seriously strapped for cash. Hal receives a letter indicating that, as the granddaughter of Mrs. Westaway, she is a beneficiary of her will. But, there has to be a mistake. Hal never knew Mrs. Westaway and her deceased mother’s name is not the name cited in the letter. She decides to commit fraud and attend the funeral as well as the reading of the will. Hal finds herself trying to hoodwink a dysfunctional family at an enormous, crumbling estate. The irascible housekeeper, straight out of Rebecca, seems to know more than she’s revealing. If you like Ruth Ware it wouldn’t be a mistake to read this book.

  • Erin Clemence

    Ruth Ware is back with her third novel, “The Death of Mrs. Westaway”.

    Ruth Ware is back with her third novel, “The Death of Mrs. Westaway”.

    I thoroughly enjoyed “The Woman in Cabin 10” however, Ware’s proceeding novels

    have been mediocre at best.

    This novel is trite, one of many tales of old English manors, family secrets and unclaimed fortunes. Hal herself is a likable enough character, but it was difficult to keep track of the other characters in the novel

    and it was very easy to get lost in the noise.

    The story started off slow and held my attention only by a loose thread. I was expecting suspense, mystery and intrigue, and instead got a family drama, interspersed with some action. The plot itself was entertaining enough to keep me engaged, but it was not at all unique or engrossing. When the ending came, it too was lackluster and disappointing, as well as predictable.

    With “Cabin 10”, it was easy to determine that Ware has writing talent, however her other novels

    feel forced. Ware seems to be struggling to find the passion and creativity she once had with “Cabin 10”, and although “Westaway” doesn’t quite hold up to its expectations, I have faith that Ware will find her way back to the mystery/suspense genre and blow us away once again.

  • Emma

    This is one of those books that relies on conversations not had, coincidences, misunderstandings or misexplainations, and a serious dose of people seemingly deliberately taking the least likely option necessitated by the evidence. If, while reading, I have to whisper 'are you serious?' to myself repeatedly as I follow the main character's journey, it is not a good thing. The author seems to have thought out a story then said to herself, how can I make this needlessly messy so it looks cleverer?

    This is one of those books that relies on conversations not had, coincidences, misunderstandings or misexplainations, and a serious dose of people seemingly deliberately taking the least likely option necessitated by the evidence. If, while reading, I have to whisper 'are you serious?' to myself repeatedly as I follow the main character's journey, it is not a good thing. The author seems to have thought out a story then said to herself, how can I make this needlessly messy so it looks cleverer? Whole sections are entirely unnecessary and the book doesn't know whether it's trying to be gothic horror, Agatha Christie style whodunnit, or psychological thriller, ending up doing none of them well.

    Still, it seems to be only me who thinks this way so *shrugs shoulders and walks away*....

    ARC via Netgalley

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