Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway (& Giveaway!) / by Madeleine Riley

Note: TST received a copy of this text from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is the newest novel from revered author Ruth Ware. Though I own all of Ware's novels, I've only actually read The Woman in Cabin 10. It was an excellent vacation read, and I was looking forward to another fast-paced thriller. What I didn't realize is that The Death of Mrs. Westaway is not necessarily a thriller -- I'd categorize it as a gothic mystery, and it's definitely one I'd recommend for fans of Rebecca. 

The story follows Hal, an isolated young woman struggling to make ends meet. Hal is just about to sink further into debt when she receives a letter detailing a substantial inheritance. Hal knows the letter is meant for someone else, but she can't help thinking that if she can fake it, the money could make a lasting difference for her future. She travels to the funeral, hoping that her job as a psychic can help her convince the family that she's a relative -- at least, until she can secure her portion of the money. Except that when Hal arrives, she realizes that something is not right, and that the circumstances surrounding the inheritance are much more complicated than they seem.

I loved the gothic setting of this book, and you can bet you'll see it pop up again in my October recommendations list this year. At first, I didn't love Hal's character. It seemed like a trope to have the outsider referencing her unique style -- combat boots and piercings -- to point out the contrast between her life and that of the wealthy family. As the story built, I paid less attention to that, and got lost in the mystery of the inheritance and the events that ultimately influenced the deceased matriarch's will. This story has all of the right elements for a creepy mystery: an old family estate with lots of dark passageways, a housekeeper inspired by Mrs. Danvers, and a family legacy at stake. A slow and steady build to an action-packed ending with a great twist. Bonus: there was hardly any gore, so if you're looking for a more chilling (but not gruesome) title to add to your summer reading list, this is the one.

Bottom-Line Rating: 4/5

This title will be released on May 29, 2018.


  • Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
  • Author: Ruth Ware
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Price: Pre-order for $18 on Amazon
  • Format: Paperback ARC
  • Source: Gallery Books

I'm partnering with Gallery Books for a giveaway on Instagram! Check out my feed to enter to win one of three advanced reader copies of The Death of Mrs. Westaway!