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The Death of Mrs. Westaway

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  130,804 ratings  ·  14,376 reviews
-- From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

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-re
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published June 28th 2018 by Harvill Secker (first published May 29th 2018)
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Kathryn in FL This book has so many holes, it looks it is like swiss cheese. People with common sense should stay away.
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  130,804 ratings  ·  14,376 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a lock on the door. Two, in fact. They were long, thick bolts, top and bottom.
But they were on the outside.

This book was so creepy. In a great way. I'm really glad I finally broke down and read a Ruth Ware book.

My sister is a huge Ruth Ware fan so I, of course, in true sibling fashion, had to decide I hated her on principal and avoid all her previous books. Okay, I'm joking, but that dirty wench spoiled most of the endings to the others so I have had to bag an arc to be able to rea
Miranda Reads
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
description it just me or are all these Ruth Ware novels starting to sound the same?

Anybody up for a game of BINGO?


YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of those books that relies on conversations not had, coincidences, misunderstandings or misexplainations, and a serious dose of people seemingly deliberately taking the least likely option necessitated by the evidence. If, while reading, I have to whisper 'are you serious?' to myself repeatedly as I follow the main character's journey, it is not a good thing. The author seems to have thought out a story then said to herself, how can I make this needlessly messy so it looks cleverer? ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Simon & Schuster Goodreads
Shelves: from-publisher
"Centered around slow building suspense and tension you could cut with a knife, gothic thriller THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY is Ms. Ware's most ambitious and entertaining novel to date."

All hail Queen Ruth Ware! It's no secret that lady authors have been taking over the psychological thriller scene in the past decade (GiRl PoWeR), but there are a handful that seem to come to the forefront when planning out what we want to read over the summer months. Ms. Ware has been a highly coveted name in rece
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a twisted tale of long-buried family secrets, all set within a decrepit estate property, where the coldness gets under your skin.

It's the epitome of dreary gothic vibes!

I went into this hoping for a solid gothic atmosphere, I mean, look at that cover.

I wanted to be pulled under by the weight of it and the story definitely did not disappoint in that regard.

Our main character, Harriet 'Hal' Westaway, is a young woman down on her luck since the unfortunate hit-and-run
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a cleverly crafted atmospheric mystery fueled by deceit. Since I was not a fan of The Lying Game, I was hesitant to read this, but I am so glad I did!

Struggling tarot card reader, Hal, aka Harriet Westaway, finds herself in a moral quandary when she receives a letter naming her as a beneficiary in her grandmother’s will. She believes a mistake has been made as her grandparents died long before she was born. Even t
j e w e l s
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

So, here's the thing. You can't really compare Ruth Ware to any contemporary writers. The pure "old-fashioned-ness" of her writing style is so refreshing that it comes across as modern. Weird, huh? You gotta go way back to find Ware's influences. Yep, that's Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie and Patricia Highsmith.

These fantastic female authors constructed some of the best psychological suspense novels ever written, but they aren't quickly devoured like a lot of this genre's current
Ruth Ware writes an eerie, atmospheric and dark twisted murder mystery in the style of the golden age of crime classics with elements of the gothic. 21 year old Harriet 'Hal' Westaway lost her mother in a hit and run car accident, and took up the mantle of becoming a tarot reader at the Brighton Pier. Alone in the world, she is in dire financial straits, owing money to unscrupulous loan sharks, and facing a bleak and unpromising future. Out of the blue, she receives a letter that tells her of an ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

After “The Lying Game” which was a little disappointing to me, I was thoroughly thrilled and engrossed in this new book. Ms. Ware has again written a twisty, dark, atmospheric thriller, this time throwing family, inheritance and sibling rivalry into the brew.

Hal Westaway is still reeling from the death of her mother three months previously. She had to forgo her plans to attend college in order to take up her mother’s tarot reading kiosk on the pier in order
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
This book had me completely hooked from page one!

I have to give this 5 glowing stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 for Ruth Ware—who if I’m being honest never disappoints me! This book was positively haunting!!! It was spooky yet meaningful, with lovely prose and compelling plot twists. I cannot recommend it enough!

I finished this book last night. It was one of those books that I stayed up late on a work night to finish, because I was so invested in the story. Hal’s dilemma had me completely immersed in the book. I th
Christina - Recipe & a Read
One for sorrow. Two for Joy. Three [stars] for Ruth Ware's The Death of Mrs. Westaway!!!

Harriet (Hal) Westaway grew up with a loving mother in a tiny flat, until every child's worst nightmare comes to fruition. In one fateful moment, Hal loses her mother and the only security and family she has ever known. Having spent the last few years adjusting to such a life altering change, she has settled into living day-to-day working as a tarot card reader on a pier. Hal is running low on cash, she's go

“Seven for a secret, never to be told.”

This was my first Ruth Ware book, but sadly it wasn’t a hit with me. But looking at my friend’s reviews, I do think I might be in the minority with my feelings. I will say that the atmosphere was eerie and perfect. I will also say that the writing and prose was beautiful. But I’m not someone who reads a lot of thrillers or mysteries, but even I could see all the reveals in this one coming a mile away.

“One for Joy. One for love. One for
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware is a Gallery Scout publication.

When Harriet- aka- Hal, receives a mysterious letter informing her that she’s been named in her grandmothers will, and stands to receive a substantial sum of money, she knows immediately a mistake has been made. But, her Tarot Card Booth is not getting the bills paid and her creditors are breathing down her neck, some of which have become threatening. Facing a moral dilemma, with her back against a wall, Hal decides to take
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is going to be a short review because, while i enjoyed the story, i honestly have nothing substantial to say about it.

the writing is easy to read (although the pacing is a little slow), the characters are decent and relatable, and the plot is intriguing (albeit predictable). its quite an atmospheric story - so if you enjoy gothic mysteries, this will be enjoyable for you!

3.5 stars
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Never believe your own lies. (c)
“It seems . . . well, it seems as if Mrs. Westaway did know what she was doing when she drafted that will.” (c)
Well, she most definitely did. Some very convoluted bloodlines and twists and fate doing a lot more than could have been expected. A lovely novel. Mind it, it didn't really know what it wanted to be all along, it felt like a cross-genre experiment but the writing was fluid and engaging and rather seamless, so, I think this was a successful experiment
JanB (vacation till Oct 18)
4.5 stars, rounded up. Read with the Traveling Friends group, this made for a fun discussion as we tried to piece together the clues and solve the mystery.

And what a twisty, fantastic story it was! An old crumbling estate, a malevolent housekeeper, a dysfunctional family, long-held family secrets, missing people…. all elements that I love in a tale that oozes a menacing gothic atmosphere.

The story opens with 21-year-old Hal, who was left all alone in the world 3 years ago after her mother’s deat
Kylie D
I love Ruth Ware's books, and I found this one to be her best yet. It sees Hal, a young tarot card reader, summoned to the country as her grandmother had died. The only thing is Hal's grandparents had died many years before. However, as she is in debt and wondering where her next months rent money is coming from, she goes, with the idea of swindling the family. Yet as she gets to know the family she feels guilt ridden, and even though something seems off about the family, she can't pinpoint what ...more
2.5 stars! Ruth Ware in my opinion has the absolute best sinister, gothic, and enticing covers ever! They have always grabbed my attention and gave me that feeling that I just HAD to read the book. It is just too bad that my excitement didn’t follow through to the end of this story though.

THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY by RUTH WARE is a slow-building, dark, atmospheric, and gothic mystery that had me somewhat engaged, entertained, and interested enough throughout this book to keep me turning those
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars! The chilling and eerie atmosphere in this novel was like a character of its own!

It didn’t take long for me to feel completely immersed in this haunting tale. The damp and dark weather. The old, crumbling mansion. The family full of lies and long hidden secrets. This is my kind of book! I have read every one of Ruth Ware’s novels and this is by far, my favourite!

This book revolves around twenty-one year old Harriet Westaway “Hal”, who took over her mother’s tarot card reading business
First and foremost, I'm happy to say that RUTH WARE IS BACK! I've been a fan of Ruth Ware since Day 1. In a Dark, Dark Wood was such a good debut light-mystery novel and The Woman in Cabin 10 was one of my favorite mystery novels of all time. After my disappointment with The Lying Game, I still was hopeful for The Death of Mrs. Westaway . Ruth Ware went back to her roots with The Death of Mrs. Westaway and created a robust, multifaceted, and fascinating story. Seriously guys, I read this ...more
Book of Secrets
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
★ This is my 500th review posted on Goodreads! ★

First, I want to point out that stunning Gothic book cover: bleak foggy weather, black iron gate, and menacing magpies looming overhead... It fits this dark, atmospheric tale perfectly!

Harriet Westaway, who goes by Hal, ekes out a living as a tarot card reader on the pier in Brighton. Hal is alone in the world, and life is a struggle, especially during the off-season when clients are scarce.

Things are pretty bad for Hal, until one day she receive
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) The gothic ambience in the Trespassen house was perfect for all the family secrets.

You'll spend the whole book trying to figure if/how the main character is related to everyone and who's lying!

A great read!

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
chan ☆
writing was great, but the ending left me unsatisfied sort of like The Turn of the Key…. i’ll probably pick up more from Ruth Ware in the future but i haven’t found my perfect thriller from her yet.
Holly  B
Not my favorite

Although there were many things I liked about this one, it did not live up to my expectations. I just loved Woman in Cabin 10, but didn't really enjoy  The Lying Game. I'll try to explain why this fell flat for me.

I thought the premise was mysterious and intriguing - a letter about an inheritance that was sent to the wrong person ( I was imagining all kinds of sinister scenarios).  The mystery turned into a messed-up family drama with confusing side stories and was lacking
Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews
I read this one with five of our Traveling Sisters. By the time we finished this story we were spilt with how we felt about this story.

Ruth Ware does a great job of creating an engaging and intriguing story, and this story had all the elements to make it an interesting story for us all. We loved the gothic feel, the old mysterious mansions with creepy rooms that hold secrets, a shady family with an inheritance and one of our favorite characters an angry and unfriendly housekeeper. Lots of creep
Lucy Langford
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Debating between 3-4 stars.

Get out- if you know what's good for you. While you still can...

This book follows the story of Hal; She has no family, she lives alone in a decaying flat, she makes her money by tarot reading during the day, she's mainly broke and she owes a lot of money to some loan sharks. When Hal receives a mysterious letter addressed to her- a letter concerning an inheritance- she is keen to find out more. She realises the letter was sent to the wrong person, however, through her
"Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot Cards. I got a full house and four people died." (Steven Wright)

It's all in the cards......or is it?

Harriet "Hal" Westaway settles into her small booth on the pier in Brighton. She palms the Tarot cards across the table for another customer. Truth be told, Hal eyes each individual for clues into their current situations. The future doesn't always come easy and the cards often set up in contrasting ways. Hal recognizes that long face of desper
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t read a lot of mystery books but the premise of The Death of Mrs. Westaway really intrigued me.

Hal, a struggling tarot card reader who is in financial trouble, receives a mysterious letter describing an inheritance she is owed from a distant relative, her grandmother, Mrs. Westaway. It seems too good to be true and she knows it’s likely a mistake, but Hal is desperate and curious, so she makes the trip to see what this is all about. Upon arriving, she meets 3 uncles she was unaware of - H
Kim ~ It’s time to get spooky
4.5 stars rounded up.......I really wish we could get a .5 rating!!!

Well...well...well...who is late to the party? Again?! Me!!! This book has been on my shelf forever! I don't know why. I love this author. I love creepy, atmospheric books. Soo why? I have no clue...but so glad to report that it was worth the wait! I loved it.

What on earth was Mrs. Westaway thinking when she willed her huge estate to her granddaughter? Her kids that she snubbed most certainly wondered that. In fact, none of the
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

The cover of “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” is perfect to draw the reader into Ruth Ware’s new book. The gothic sense of creepiness from the cover is further enhanced by the evocative descriptions of the crumbling old mansion Mrs. Westaway lived in. And then there are the characters - what brilliantly conceived characters!

Hal, who believes she has no living relatives receives a letter informing her that she has received a bequeath from her Grandmother. Curious and in desperate financial
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Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

Find her on twitter at

Articles featuring this book

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” Science fiction godfather Ray Bradbury said...
62 likes · 29 comments
“Some situations have no simple resolution; all we can do is steer the course that causes the least harm.” 14 likes
“Never believe it, Hal. Never believe your own lies.

Because superstition was a trap – that was what she had learned, in the years of plying her trade on the pier. Touching wood, crossing fingers, counting magpies – they were all lies, all of them. False promises designed to give the illusion of control and meaning in a world in which the only destiny came from yourself. You can't predict the future, Hal knew.”
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