Review: The Death of Mrs Westaway by @RuthWareWriter @HarvillSecker


Release: 2018
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I admit I haven’t read any of Ruth Ware’s previous thrillers, although I do own her first novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood. However, as soon as I read the blurb, I knew that I had to make The Death of Mrs Westaway a priority. And in the end, I was glad I gave this a chance: it was a really good gothic mystery, and I’m excited to read more of Ruth Ware’s books in the future.

The Death of Mrs Westaway reminded me of Agatha Christie, Rebecca, and, surprisingly, Kate Morton. The big house, the lost diary, and the disappearance in the past meant that this novel had all the ingredients to win me over. And the truth is, it did. I really enjoyed it. I found the premise quite exciting – a young woman who is mistaken for another but sets out to get an inheritance anyway- and there was this “locked room” aspect that made it more interesting because you knew someone in the house was hiding more than one secret.

The mystery was well plotted, and though I didn’t find it particularly shocking, I nevertheless thought it was quite good and it left me satisfied. I liked the relationships between the characters and enjoyed the author’s evocative writing and the tarot storyline, so I believe The Death of Mrs Westaway is a solid mystery for any fan of the genre. Still, I have to say to say there was one chapter where anyone could’ve guessed a detail that took the main character a couple of LONG pages to realize. I was anxious, but she finally reached that same conclusion. Thank god 😉

I hadn’t read any of this gothic mansion mystery books for a while, and I realized how much I miss them, so I am really happy that this book reunited me with the genre.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review



20 thoughts on “Review: The Death of Mrs Westaway by @RuthWareWriter @HarvillSecker

  1. J.P. Choquette says:

    Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t WAIT! Gothic suspense is my absolute favorite. Maybe after I finish my (very, very tardy) reading of “Rebecca,” by Du Maurier, I can jump into this novel. Thanks for another great review, Annie.


  2. Stephanie says:

    Fab review and I’m so glad you enjoyed it since I loved it so much, but gothic suspense is my favorite genre!

    If you do read anything else of Ware’s, be forewarned that none of her other books are like this one…this one is the only one with the gothic suspense element, which is what made it by far my favorite of her 4 other novels! The others do have a bit of that Agatha Christie, “locked in room” mystery aspect, especially The Woman in Cabin 10, but this one is much more Daphne du Maurier and Rebecca-ish than anything.

    I just wanted to make sure you knew what to expect if you do read her other books….this was a departure from her previous writings and one that I hope she continues in the future!


      • Stephanie says:

        You’re welcome. I’d probably read The Woman in Cabin 10. I don’t know if you’d like The Lying Game and even though I like In a Dark, Dark Wood, it was a bit predictable. The Woman in Cabin 10 had the same Agatha Christie feel as The Death of Mrs. Westaway (they all do, but this one was as atmospheric and claustrophobic). I didn’t love the main character like I loved Hal, but still…Ware’s writing has definitely improved in my opinion with TDOMW or gothic suspense should just be what she needs to write.


  3. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    Oh man! You had me at “gothic mystery” but then you sealed my fate when you said it reminded you of a Kate Morton book. You know I love me some Kate Morton. I haven’t read any of Ruth Ware’s other books either, but I will probably make this my first. Great review Annie 🙂


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