The Death Of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

death of mrs westaway

I spotted this in my local bookshop. I loved the blurb on the back and couldn’t wait to read it.

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life forever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…


I wasn’t sure what to make of this book when I first started. Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true I actually thought it wouldn’t be that great but it was.

Hal receives a letter inviting her to a stately house to hear a reading of a will from her grandmother. Hal knows that it cant be her grandmother, her grandparents died years ago and its obviously a case of mistaken identity but is so down on her luck and has money lenders after her, she feels like she has no choice but to attend. There can be no harm in it surely? She’ll get some cash to get her out of her fix and get herself back on her feet.

She gets on a train and arrives at a funeral with no idea who is who and trying really hard not to give herself away.  Hal, as she is known, becomes demure and quiet, trying to learn as much as she can.

Hal meets the Westaway family and ends up getting so much more than she bargained for and wonders if she will be lucky to walk away with her life. She meets people who she is sure that want to kill her, all the while questioning her mother and wonders about her father.  Who is he?

I really enjoyed this. I was surprised to see such a well-written book. I was completely taken in with the twists and turns from the story and loved the characters. Mrs Westaway sounded like a complete bitch from the story and would have loved to have seen a little more about her.

I did think it was weird about Hal, her name and address was on the letter but she is so convinced she isn’t the right person, also the housekeeper, she had too much sway in what was going on.  If she was a proper housekeeper she would have kept her mouth closed much more.  I really didn’t like her.

All in all, it kept me hooked and I was desperate to see what happened next.  I loved it. 5* rating on Goodreads.