Review | The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Spoiler Free

45031709._SY475_She had started this now, and she had no choice but to see it through.


Published: May 29, 2018

Publisher: Scout Press

Pages: 368 (Paperback)

Series: N/A – Standalone



2 Stars


Maud was still missing- and no one seemed to know what had happened to her. 


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.


I have to admit, I am so mad about this review.

I talk all the time about how much I adore Ruth Ware as an author and how much I absolutely loved The Woman in Cabin 10, but I’m starting to think I can only love every other book of hers I read. Need proof?

I disliked In a Dark, Dark Wood. LOVED The Woman in Cabin 10. Felt eh about The Lying Game. Obsessed over The Turn of the Key. And now I am pissed about The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

I rest my case.

So, I feel particularly heated about The Death of Mrs. Westaway because it was so, utterly boring. I only read all the way because I was so close and wanted to know what happened, but it was so predictable it made me angry. There were so many areas where she could have taken the book on a darker path or followed through with some of the things that were teased, but in the end it amounted to nothing more than a Lifetime thriller.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway follows Hal as she tries to navigate this funeral and probate process for a woman she never met, in a family she doesn’t think is hers, to get a couple hundred bucks to pay back a loan shark. She’s all alone in the world and she sees this as a way to get a fresh start. Here’s where my problem begins; I didn’t really like Hal. I liked her at first but as soon as she starts interacting with the others in the Westaway family she becomes a completely different person, which I get is what she was trying to do, but even her internal monologue never matched what was presented in those first few chapters.

While the writing is spooky and atmospheric and everything that I love about Ruth Ware, it doesn’t deliver on anything else. It’s so incredibly mundane and boring, with a few exciting pieces sprinkled in here and there to keep my attention, but it was completely unremarkable. The ending was… surprising, in a sense. I kind of had a general idea of where it was going, but the exact particulars of it alluded me, which was why I kept reading.

All in all it definitely was not my favorite Ruth Ware novel, but if the algorithm keeps up then I should love the next novel she publishes, which would be fantastic because I’ll definitely be reading it!

Happy reading


Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM


Other novels by Ruth Ware



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