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May 2018: Family Drama > The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - 3 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4611 comments The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - 3 stars

Contemporary fiction and family mystery set in England. The protagonist, Harriet (aka Hal) gets a letter informing her she is named as a beneficiary in a will. Lies, secrets, and mistakes abound in this story of a dysfunctional family and a young woman they had not met previously, now an heir to the family estate. I am not a huge fan of mysteries, but this one held my interest and kept me up late reading.

First, the positives:
• It was very compelling. I kept turning the pages to find out what happens.
• It was complex, not easily figured out, and involved many layers of mystery. Just about everyone in the family was keeping at least one secret from the others.
• Characters were well-developed, especially Harriet and Mrs. Westaway’s adult children.
• Invoked a strong sense of place… an old, run-down mansion, a small English town in the country, the small shack of the tarot reader on the pier.

A couple issues were:
• It contained a plethora of plot devices. I don’t mind a few, especially in a mystery. Some explanation is needed for what happens; however, I prefer it when intrinsic motivations explain actions rather than external circumstances.
• It bogged down a bit in the middle, where not much happened, mostly family discussions and wandering around the mansion, traveling back and forth multiple times.

Although mysteries are not my first choice in books, I found it entertaining and enjoyed the reading experience. Recommended to fans of mysteries, especially those involving family drama.

I received an advance reader's copy through Goodreads Giveaway with a request for a candid review.


message 2: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments I think I have this on my TBR. I enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10, and this seems a bit "creepier" than that one with the setting, and mood.


message 3: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4611 comments Joi wrote: "I think I have this on my TBR. I enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10, and this seems a bit "creepier" than that one with the setting, and mood."

Yes, Joi, I have read both books and this one is definitely "creepier" and moodier.


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