Review // The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway Book Cover The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Ruth Ware
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Gallery Scout Press
May 29, 2018

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.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read additional disclosures here and below.
Support small independent booksellers: RAPT Bookshop

Sometimes it can be so hard to determine a rating for a book because it teeters just on the brink. And that is where The Death of Mrs. Westaway settles – teetering. I loved it, so a 5 ?, right? Yet, it didn’t have the same thrill for me as The Turn of the Key, so a 4 ?, right? I really struggled with this, but ultimately I settled on…

Ruth Ware has a great way of telling a story. She led me on a ‘this one or that one’ chase during The Death of Mrs. Westaway and I loved the web she weaved. With Mrs. Westaway’s death, Hal discovers a family she never knew she had. Unfortunately, as she finds out more about her past and the Westaway family, she could very well lose her life.

Mystery flows through Ware’s novel as her main character, Hal, discovers details surrounding her life from her past that will ultimately decide her future. Ware offers a constant cadence within the writing that allows for a great read that never once fell flat. I was extremely happy to have just a well-written story to simply enjoy.

Now for all the things I love about The Death of Mrs. Westaway, there are of course things that held me back with finding my full heart within this reading. For as simply enjoyable as this read is, The Death of Mrs. Westway didn’t offer the same measure of excitement found in other Ruth Ware novels. There are twists, some more obvious than others, but my suggestion is to read without expectations

I’m a huge fan of Ruth Ware. I have read all of her books and each one is very unique – not just within the story, but how she ties the threads together to give each a smart ending. I was in no way disappointed with The Death of Mrs. Westaway as this novel took me back to the true mystery story where it simply is about the written word and not the action within.

Other Books Banner

Author Ruth Ware
Author photograph © Gemma Day Photography

Ruth Ware worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer before settling down as a full-time writer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail (Toronto) bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and The Turn of the Key.

Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.