The Death of Mrs. Westaway

by Ruth Ware

Hal works on the pier as a tarot card reader. One day, she receives a letter in the mail indicating she might receive an inheritance from a recently deceased grandmother. The problem is…this letter was a mistake. Hal, however, is desperately in need of money and decides to go to the funeral. When she arrives, she sets in motion something no one expects, including herself.

This was my favorite of the Ruth Ware novels that I’ve read so far. It didn’t feel as…forced?…as The Turn of the Key, and it was more exciting than In a Dark, Dark Wood. Both of those were good—I loved the atmosphere of the former—, but this was better. The Gothic atmosphere, the locked-room feel, the British location…it was great.

One thing I didn’t like was the over-emphasis on the tarot cards. I know that her job is important to the plot, especially her cold-reading skills, but it just seems like it was brought up too much in spots where it didn’t really matter.

There was also a thread at the beginning that wasn’t resolved (SPOILER AHEAD). I feel like if Hal hadn’t shown up for work in a week, he still would’ve found a way to contact her, seeing as he found her apartment. Maybe it’s because the book ended before she could get back to Brighton, but I would’ve at least liked to know she had a plan in place.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend it.