The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

thedeathofmrswestaway_bookcover1Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Series: No
Author(s): Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Format: ARC
Release Date: May 29th 2018
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
ISBN13: 9781501156212

She is back and she is not ready to hand over the reins to anyone just yet. Since In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware has been releasing some of the most well-written mystery novels in a long time, and her latest story is no exception. Her ability to bestow an eerie atmosphere that she can manipulate flawlessly continues to seep through every single word. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is simply a prime example of mystery done right. It blends family drama, superstition, and mystery in a marvelous cocktail that will leave you thirsty for more.

The story follows Harriet Westaway, who goes by the name of Hal, in her discovery of an unbelievable inheritance. Living day by day as a tarot card reader in order to pay off debts that are quickly becoming impossible to manage, she looks at this golden opportunity as the ultimate escape to her predicament. What she doesn’t realize is that this peculiar situation will set her up on a path to uncovering far more about herself than she ever thought she would. Drawn to Trepassen, it is in a dark and Gothic house that the past comes crashing in and the magpies watch dreadfully as Hal discovers the truth.


Ruth Ware controls the pace of this story with the finesse of a puppeteer. There is nothing fast about the setup or the development. Every card is flipped at the right rhythm and everything is unveiled at the right moment. It is only close to the end that she pours the fuel on the fire and puts the petal to the metal, turning this story into a race to the finish line. The way it all concludes is brilliant and there’s nothing about it all that I would have wanted changed. In fact, the plot is a bit predictable, but the execution was too good to even consider that a flaw.

What I also loved about The Death of Mrs. Westaway is Hal. She is a brilliantly developed character whose disbelief in her own art of card-reading serves as the foundation of her personality. Throughout the story, even if she isn’t superstitious, she still refers to it to make the hardest decisions and to get through the toughest situations. Driven by a desire to flip the cards in her favour for once in her life, her actions are always incredibly authentic and never ventures in territories where you’d question her behaviour. Her bond with her mother as well as the lessons that she has taught her daughter are also intertwined into the narrative to give us so much more insight into Hal’s character.

In the end, The Death of Mrs. Westaway is by far Ruth Ware’s best book yet. The blend of mystery and family drama was beyond harmonious and promises fans an addictive, beautifully written and eerie story.

Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a copy for review!

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?
What do you think about The Death of Mrs. Westaway?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,




55 thoughts on “The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

    1. I believe if The Death of Mrs. Westaway doesn’t click well with you, then the author’s style might not be your cup of tea. I do love a nice break for all the SFF, so I was happy to have this one queued up! Thank you for reading, Danielle! 😍


    1. YAAS! If you liked The Woman in Cabin 10, I think this one will be a welcome read for you! Ruth Ware really got everything right for this story and delivered it really neatly. I would love to see what you’d think of it, Norrie!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nadine! I totally agree. I really loved how she gave that mansion such a suffocating touch. She barely even needed to spice up her writing with details. Everything was so clean! And then to have Hal being developed as that skeptical card-reader whose good at it? Damn. Good stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think this one would be it. 😂 Her first two books (In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10) were also nice, but their flaws easily turn off some people. The Lying Game was probably her weakest novel for me, but not the worse thing in the world. I felt like The Death of Mrs. Westaway does everything right and delivers it with grace. All you need to know is it’s a slow burn, it isn’t like a lot of psychological thrillers nowadays that try to beat each other’s reading pace. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clearly I was not fully awake when I read this! I actually did listen to The Woman in Cabin 10 on audiobook. 🙈 It wasn’t until I was driving to work this morning that I remembered! 🤷‍♀️ Anyway, I’m still excited to pick up The Death of Mrs. Westaway. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a great review Lashaan, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this book as well. It sounds like Ruth Ware is an incredible mystery author and I bet you’re looking forwards to the next book she comes out with right? I’m glad Hal was such an incredibly developed character too, it’s always easier to love a book when the character feels real.
    Again great review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to see how much you liked this. After basically hating Ware’s last book, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give this one a try, but a lot of the reviews I’ve seen lately have been favorable, so I think I’ll give this one a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeh.. the Lying Game was the weakest of her books for me, but I think The Death of Mrs. Westaway would be a nice yea or nay to if you should ever pick up any of her books again. I do hope you’ll like it. I’ll definitely look forward to your thoughts on it whenever you do!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Resh. She’s definitely one of the better mystery authors in recent years for me (not to say that I have read a lot of newly released mystery novels though). Her main character in this one was really well done, and clearly helped in making this an enjoyable story! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She is! Although I really had a tough time associating “Hal” to a woman hahahah I always kept on seeing Hal from Malcolm in the Middle (no clue if you know what I’m talking about). Ouuuuh, your reading partner might love to keep up with Ruth Ware’s work. The author is often said to be the Agatha Christie of our time (not saying they’re at an equal level though). Thanks for reading Dani!


    1. You definitely should. Even if it’s your first time trying anything by Ruth Ware, I believe this one would be an awesome place to start. And with an interest in tarot cards, it’ll just make this that much more interesting! Thanks for reading! ❤


  3. I’m so glad I read this review, Lashaan. I would certainly have avoided this book based on the cover alone! I enjoy mysteries, but I struggle with the psychological aspect many new mysteries are taking on. I don’t mind a little bit of it, but too much and I get nightmares. O_o Do I need to read Ware’s book in any particular order? Or are these mysteries unaffiliated?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahha you’re killing me! I totally understand though. I think her first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood was the only one that had a decent cover. At least my edition anyways. Oh yeh, some psychological thrillers nowadays are pretty intense. I wouldn’t exactly put this in that category, but rather “mystery” or “suspense” though.

      They are all unaffiliated. She’s released four books so far, and I find that this one was her best one so far. The Lying Game would be the weakest one. Hope you enjoy her stuff if you ever decide to test them out, Jackie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have not read this latest book by Ruth Ware, but I absolutely loved In a Dark, Dark Wood and the Woman in Cabin 10. I wasn’t AS fond of The Lying Game, but her spectacular work on her first two novels were enough to keep me coming back for more. It gives me great hope that you said it was her best work yet. I’m on the waiting list at the library- can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel ya. The Lying Game was the weakest of her books for me too, but The Death of Mrs Westaway really gave me all the reasons to continue believing in the author’s writing. Hope you adore it as much as I did! 😀


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