The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

“Trepassen was too Gothic and gloomy to ever feel like a truly welcoming place.” 

 

I enjoy a good mystery with a creepy atmosphere and this one delivered. Hal's mother passed away leaving her completely alone in the world. She learned from her mother how to give tarot card readings in order to scrape by, but she is barely managing to pay her bills and now has goons threatening her if she doesn't pay back a loan.

 

“She didn’t believe in anything mystical, but she did believe in the power of the cards to reveal something about the querent, both to the reader and to the sitter themselves.”

 

Hal never truly believed the cards would reveal the future, but she has the skill to read people and because of this skill, she believes that she might have a chance at claiming an inheritance she knows doesn't belong to her. Desperation is what sends her to the estate pretending to be a long lost family member.

 

The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because a certain reveal left me completely confused. I had to reread this particular section multiple times trying to figure out what was really going on. I kept asking myself, "Who, and how? I think Ware got something backwards because this is not making any sense." I continued on and a chapter or two later it all finally clicked and I said, "OH! Now I understand." This one really made me think, almost a little too hard.

 

This is only my second Ware book, but I've enjoyed them both. The Lying Game was my first read and even though I really liked it, The Death of Mrs. Westaway is my favorite of the two. The characters were likable, the mystery was clever, and I loved the setting and the eerie old house.

 

 

-SW