The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 May 2018

Member Reviews

I'm a big fan of Ruth Ware's books and The Death of Mrs. Westaway was no disappointment!  I loved the chilly setting of a woman who, against all odds, tries to better her life by pretending to be someone she isn't.  Or is she? That's the question that's eventually answered and all loose-ends are neatly tied up.
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God was this book sloooooooow.  It quite literally put me to sleep on several occasions while trying to slog through it.  The chapters are short but the actual story unfolds at a snail's pace.  Ware tries to set the scene of a creepy old mansion holding dark family secrets but the only way she is able to do this  is by telling the reader (repeatedly) that something is "off" versus showing it through action.  It's not until the final quarter of the book where it actually begins to attempt at being a thriller or a mystery or whatever genre it's supposed to be.  I never connected with the main character and grew extremely irritated by every dialogue exchange containing ellipses with conversations which just....trail off....
I would hope Ware's previous titles try a little harder with their core mysteries, as not only is this one easy to see from a mile away, but the "twist" reveal makes absolutely no sense and contradicts events in previous chapters.  This was a huge disappointment all around.
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The Death of Mrs. Westaway was the perfect read for me going into the fall season. The tone of the book was very foreboding -- as if you knew something bad was going to happen but you did not yet know what it was. Ruth Ware did a great job keeping my interest and slowly unraveling the mystery AND surprising me. The read was like her others -- very atmospheric which I could appreciate cause it was as if I was right there. I highly recommend for those who love mysteries with the right amount of surprise.
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Sadly, I could not get through this book. I felt like it moved too slowly and it didn't hold my interest. Thank you for the galley!
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Ruth Ware is a solid mystery/suspense writer and this one is very much like the others -- a well-defined main character caught in a web of lies and deceit with lot of twists and turns and red herrings to keep the reader turning pages.

Hal (Harriet) receives a letter informing her of an inheritance (a timely letter since she is broke and in debt) from a grandmother she never knew. She's skeptical, but follows the instructions to meet with the family since she has no other option at this moment. She finds feuding brothers, a creepy house, and an equally creepy housekeeper. The perfect set up for a suspense novel.

All ends when the long-held secrets are revealed (no surprise there) and the reader is left satisfied. While I have enjoyed all Ware's novels, I don't really find them as captivating as others seem to. Although suitably creepy and suspenseful, I've never been completely consumed by the story or character. I want to know what happens, but don't really care. Certainly a worthwhile read and a nice way to pass the time, but not something that will haunt my memories like some other suspense novels have.
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Best novel Ruth Ware has put out yet. In a Dark, Dark Wood was good and had me wanting to read more by this author; however, The Woman in Cabin 10 almost turned me off. The Lying Game was forgettable. Luckily, this one will have me reading more from Ware. 
Well-paced, interesting characters, suspense. 4 out of 5 Stars.
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Hal was perfectly content to be with her mother, despite the scant resources her mother made as a tarot card reader. But when her mother dies suddenly in a car accident, Hal takes over the business. When a letter comes informing her of an inheritance by a rich relative, Hal jumps at the chance to become solvent, even if she isn't the correct person the letter should have been sent to. But when she comes to the family, she finds that she is not only becoming attached to them, there are also secrets which should have been out in the open long ago. In a mystery that is akin to Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware has developed a story that intrigues those who enjoy figuring out the threads of mysteries, without the over dramatizing car chases and over abundant "running through the woods" scenes. This book is sure to go in our library.
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Ruth Ware spins out a story about a young woman, Hal, who receives notice of an inheritance. An inheritance from a family that she didn't know existed, thanks to the secrecy of her recently deceased mom. The author brings several generational stories together by presenting the novel from Hal's view as well as from the words of a long forgotten diary. As Hal learns, the truth is indeed twisted and subject to the eye of the beholder. This novel will keep you guessing from start to finish. It has all the makings of a fascinating tale for the big screen.
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To be honest, I have become jaded by all the “thrillers” that have become so popular on the book racks these days. I have loved gothic stories and mysteries, scary and horror books al my life. I started this “thriller” with low expectations, but soon became engrossed in the story. I got to know the characters, got caught up in the mystery and even made quite a few wrong assumptions along the way. The characters were all interesting and all quite cryptic in their motivations and secrets. I was never sure about the assumptions that I was making about them and they kept their secrets until the end. The venues themselves became almost characters in the story. I think that if a movie were made of this book, I would be saying, “well that’s not how I saw it” or hopefully “oh, that’s right!”

 I liked the inclusion of the Tarot cards and their meanings. It prompted me to research the cards a bit and discover the beauty of many of them.  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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At a desperate point in her life, Hal receives a letter from a solicitor informing her of an inheritance from a relative - a relative she knows is not hers.   Still, it looks like the only way out of her money problems, and she decides to go to the funeral, thus setting up a very Agatha Christie-like mystery.  If you love mysteries, and want to dive into a creepy story, then don’t miss The Death of Mrs. Westaway.
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This was a slow-burn of a novel that started slowly but picked up speed like a snowball rolling down hill. I couldn’t put the book down!
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Hal discovers that family secrets are never secrets forever.  Fortune shines down upon her with a price.
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3.5 
As I'm beginning to put down my thoughts on this book, I find myself hovering over my 4 star rating and wanting to lower it to a 3. I like Ruth Ware, I liked the suspense aspects of this book, but there were parts I just didn't enjoy. 
First off I figured out the ending about half way through. That's always a bummer. Same thing happened to me with "Gone Girl" and it spoiled the whole book for me.  I also found aspects of the story telling tedious and repetitive, and while the lead up to the finale was tremendous, the actual finish and epilogue were pretty anti-climactic.

I have a feeling this is going to be a very highly rated book, and will be interested to see what other readers thought of it as a whole.
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This was my least favorite of Ruth Ware's books.  I put it down and read other books. I thought it was somewhat boring. I felt like I was reading a cozy mystery rather than psychological suspense. Just not my cup of tea. I will continue to read this author however. Her first book In a Dard, Dark Wood was her best.
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Spellbinding novel of suspense,, intrigue, and full of family secrets. Ruth Ware  is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
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This book was a page turner from beginning to end. Hal lost her mother in a car accidents last year. She is all alone in the world with little money or prospects when she receives a letter naming her an heir to her grandmother, Mrs. Westaway. The only problem is that Hal is sure they have made a mistake as this is not the woman who was her grandmother. A sinister man  promising her bodily harm if she does not pay a loan with interest back in a week prompts Hal to accept the invitation to attend the funeral and reading of the will for this Mrs. Westaway. Could this be the answer to her dilemma? When she arrives there is some sinister undertones. Should she stay or go? Is there any basis to the claim that she is an heir? Things are not what they seem. There is a story within a story here as Hal really does have some claim to this family through her mother. What starts as a simple deception could become dangerous!
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I love a good thriller and this one did not disappoint! (Although I did figure out the ending before it ended.) Read it in only two days so I would say it kept me interested! I love a good thriller in the summer and although the story takes place in the winter (I actually felt cold when reading the scenes in the snow!), I still loved the book for it's eerie premise. The entire time I was reading I could picture this as a movie. I was even trying to decide who could play each of the characters (Rooney Mara for Hal!) I found the ending stressful, but in a good way.

The only real complaint I had was the main character's nickname was Hal and one of the brother's names was Harding and I it tripped me up as I read. I received an advance copy of this book from #netgalley
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Ruth Ware did it again! She made a story that captivated me from the beginning and I just loved how the story intertwined with the past and present. The novel was filled with great details and ended with a fantastic twist to make the story completely magnificent! What I loved most about this story was the characterization and Hal. Hal was a great main character and I was captivated by her character from the first chapter and so highly invested in her that I had to go back and read some of the chapters again after I finished the story. I have to admit, that I figured out the conclusion from the early pages but it still was just a guess and still had me on the edge of my seat. The main reason this is one of my favorite reads of the last year is because how the main character was a Tarot Reader and it's very hard to find fiction with a tarot reader as a main character(believe me I have looked) . 
  Through the story different cards and messages are used to make the story more intriguing. 
I know it's a little out there for some people but I am a Tarot and Oracle Reader. I don't do it professionally or anything just for friends and family but have been very successful with it and all my readers have been right on. I loved Hal's character all around and her being a Tarot Reader and struggling with her intuition and her beliefs was so relatable. Being a Tarot Reader is all about the energies being brought to the table and Tarot was formed by beautiful images(which is mainly what you read to tell a story based on the Querent's question and formulas associated with Astrology, Numerology but it is all about how the reader reads/tells the story and how they use this story from the imagery to answer your question. There is a lot of people that associate it with witchcraft but I am not a witch and even if I was Pagan, it's not how many people think it is. It's a peaceful belief and there can be bad in every belief. Being a progressive Christian, Tarot & Oracle cards are best as being used as a guide and these divine tools make me happier and prepare me for what is to come.  I know this is not a lesson, this a book review and also the main character in this particular story also used Cold & Hot Reading techniques for her job and I don't use those ways at all but back to about the book!  LOL. 
  I always like to intertwine my reviews with a little personal information about myself to make what I share more personal for me and my readers. I believe what we read can become a quite magical experience and books have power. This story had lots of power and I could connect on many levels. It was unique, chilling at moments, and had just an amazing story line! I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a great suspenseful story. If you are already a fan of Ruth Ware, you will not be disappointed, my friends. This is a book that is not to be missed! It had all the characteristics of a great Ruth Ware mystery and I know along with me, there are many Ruth Ware fans out there and this one was way better than her last novel. I will definitely be re-reading this particular Ruth Ware novel and I can't wait until I get the chance to spoil myself with this book again.
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An enjoyable read and one I was heartily looking forward to. Great page turner with thriller elements that I will share with my customers looking for a new fix.
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This one was my favorite so far from Ruth Ware.  Suspenseful, with a very sympathetic main character, and there are quite a few twists and surprises as well.  It will be of particular interest to those who are fascinated by family history and family dynamics.  While reading certain scenes from the book, I recalled reading V.C. Andrews's  Flowers in the Attic more decades ago than I care to admit---same eerie feeling and "sins of the fathers/mothers" aura.
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