The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware raises an interesting moral dilemma. If you were “accidentally” named in a wealthy person’s will, would you take the chance of getting caught and go for the money, or would you come clean about the error?
Hal finds herself in this exact situation. Hal is quite broke and a bit desperate since her mother’s death by a hit and run. She is being physically threatened by a loan shark’s henchman, and decides to take the chance that she can uphold the mistaken identity to get some money out of it.
In going to the deceased’s mansion, she finds that she actually is related to the family. It takes some time to dig into her past in order to find the true connection. Her mother’s diary and an old photograph are key pieces to start unraveling the puzzle. Through this she must navigate a seemingly vengeful old housekeeper, and three very different uncles. The story has a great twist, but there was a bit of confusion for me with the photograph. I felt that the mother’s description didn’t line up with the twist. I normally would go back to double check, but since I read this one on my Kindle it was too much work to do that!
I most enjoyed the overall concept of the book and I liked the mystical presence of the Tarot throughout the story. Hal learned how to read Tarot from her mom, and it provided both of their livelihoods while forming how they viewed people and life. While the story got a bit dragged out in parts for me, it had enough strong elements to keep me going until the end.