Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. WestawayTitle: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publishing Date:  May 29th, 2018
Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Mystery Suspense
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  Audio

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-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

This is the first Ruth Ware book I have read and it will not be the last. I really didn't know what to expect from this read when I started it but I have heard great things about this author and wanted to give one of her books a try. I love the cover and the story sounded very intriguing. I shall go and read other books by this author now. It was really good and I really enjoyed it. Great mystery, interesting characters, and very well written. 
Hal is a young woman trying to make her way in a world that has left her with much of nothing in life. Her mother died when she was barely 18 and since then it has been a struggle for Hal. She is late on her bills, owes money to a loan shark, and doesn't have much to call her own. 

One day she receives a letter int he mail from an attorney stating she may have an inheritance from her dead grandmother. It sounds like a great chance to get some much-needed money. Mrs. Westaway has an estate and looks like there may be a great sum of money included. The only problem is that Mrs.Westaway is not Hal's grandmother. 

After much thought and fighting with the morals and chances of taking this attorney up on the invitation to be present to claim the inheritance, Hal decides to impersonate the granddaughter of Mrs. Westaway. Once she gets to the estate, she starts to learn that nothing is as it seems. There are secrets and betrayals and family drama all around the Westaways. Not to mention... the inheritance and what it will mean for Hal. 

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the writing. This story is told in dual timelines. The main timeline is told from Hals POV and is the main timeline of the book. The second timeline is from Hal's mother from 1994 in diary entries. I loved them both and I do love my dual timelines where pieces are fitting into the puzzle slowly as the story unravels. To me, this is the best way to do a mystery. It leaves me always wanting to know more, not always in the dark, and it gives me time to get to know all the characters and to figure out all their deep and dark secrets. This book was done very well and although I thought at many different times, I had it all figured out... I didn't. The ending really surprised me. Oh and also that ending. There were quite some thrilling moments at the end that had me at the edge of my seat. I was totally invested in this story. 

The characters. I really did love all the characters. I do love a messed up drama loving family. I love the characters that question who mommy loved more, the constant needing approval, the secrets that lie in the basement of a mansion... or an attic... or anywhere. Iove the dirty the old the crazy lot of characters. This book had those. And in the middle of them, all was Hal. A pretty normal poor girl that was just trying to make it through life, missed her mother, had no other family and didn't know that family secrets even existed. 

Hal was a pretty smart cookie and she was determined. I know deciding to impersonate someone you are not at a funeral, will reading, and in the home of a grieving family...not the morally right decision.. but I understood and can't say I wasn't rooting for her the entire time. I mean a loan shark was threatening her. This family was probably rich anyway... what would a few thousand to a poor girl do to really harm this family? Yup, I totally got it. So yea, I was rooting for her. 

I really enjoyed the diary entries of the book too. I loved the secrets. I loved how they all slowly came out... even to the very end, I didn't know it all. I was just as confused as Hal. It may have taken a while to get all the dirty laundry out in the open but the book was written so wonderfully it didn't feel like it took forever. It was done just so flawlessly and I loved every moment of this read. 

My only complaint... I wanted it to work out a little differently for Hal. I really wanted it all to be peaches and cream for her... but this is a mystery suspense book and well we all know it's not all rainbows and unicorns for these characters. It still was so good though. loved it!

A great introduction to this author and I will so be reading more. LOVED IT!

Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.


  1. Thanks for sharing. This is a new author for me and the story sounds very interesting.

  2. I've read her other books and liked them, so it's nice to see that this was one was good too. I also didn't realize this was a dual timeline story- glad that worked! Nice review! I need to get this.


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