Confession time: I crave spoilers. Crave. Especially in any kind of mystery “oh my god what’s going to happen next” type book I just cannot help myself and I go spoiler-diving. My Google history is full of me looking for spoilers (and my fiance takes my phone when we watch mystery/thriller movies because I am 100% on the film’s Wikipedia page). So yes. I made it about a hundred pages in before I went trolling the internet for spoilers.
I found them. Of course I found them. Apparently Ware is a pretty well-known mystery writer so some book club website had the full end of the mystery all lined up for me. For me a story isn’t ruined if I know what’s going to happen (see: my intense re-reading habit) but that might not be the case for everyone. So reader beware – they’re out there.
On to the book. The Death of Mrs. Westaway stars Hal, short for Harriet. She’s 21 years old and makes her living reading tarot cards on a tourist pier after the loss of her mother – her only parent – just a few years prior. She’s struggling day-to-day and deeply in debt to a loan shark when a letter from a lawyer turns up telling her that she’s been named in the will of a woman she’s never met. With literally no better options she spends the rest of her cash on hand for a train ticket to the estate with the hope that the skills she’s honed reading people will help her con her way into at least a little money. There she meets the family and unravels the mystery she never expected to find.
Overall the book isn’t pushing any boundaries, but it’s perfectly enjoyable. I got wrapped up enough at the plot that I’ve been sneaking chapters at my desk, especially towards the end. It’d be a great book to read on a long flight.