Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Death Of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware


After the death of her mother in a hit and run accident, Harriet Westaway is trying to find the strength to move forward.  Things are difficult.  She is eking out a living giving Tarot reads to strangers on the Brighton pier but winter is coming on when tourist trade falls dramatically.  She is behind on all the bills and the money she borrowed from a local bookie is way overdue.  A big man, bulging with muscles and menace, has shown up at her home, threatening violence if her payments aren't made.

Then out of the blue, she receives a letter from a solicitor, telling her that her grandmother has died and she has received an inheritance.  Harriet knows there's some mistake as her grandparents have been dead for years, but decides to go see the man.  Maybe there's just enough money to get her out of trouble.  A few hundred pounds would see her right.

But when she arrives in the town, she doubts her ability to keep up a charade.  First of all, the Westaway woman who died owns an enormous estate and there are three men in the family who would be her uncles but obviously aren't the kind of men to be fooled.  Things get worse when the will is read and rather than the uncles inheriting, the entire estate is left to Harriet.  Soon trouble and danger starts to follow Harriet and she wishes she'd never heard of Mrs. Westaway.  Can Harriet survive as the Westaway secrets start to be revealed?

Ruth Ware is a mystery writer whose books have been great successes.  I've read several of them and this one is my favorite.  Some of the early books seem to get away as the plot spins out of control but this one is restrained enough to be menacing and intriguing.  Harriet is a character the reader can't help but pull for as she tries to keep her life moving ahead when everything she has was taken from her.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

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