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  • Location: Brighton, Cornwall

The Death of Mrs Westaway

The Death of Mrs Westaway

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Observe the tarot cards…

  • ISBN: 978-1911215035
  • Genre: Historical

What you need to know before your trail

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 for ever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

Travel Guide

Brighton and St Pirian (c) Google

Brighton and St Pirian (c) Google


The Death of Mr Westaway starts in present day Brighton but the author points out at the start of the book that the West Pier is still standing in the fictional story although it’s just a memory in the real life city She ope that readers will enjoy the resurrection of this much -loved landmark. This is where Harriet  is at the start of the novel reading tarot cards for tourists and passers by.

Harriet lives in fictional Marine View Villas but you could stay in the hotel of the same name as it’s Victorian and has a Regency Garden Square...perfect for reading this book!


The visits to Cornwall are all centered in and around the house of Trepassen. It’s somewhere close to Penzance as the solicitor who deals with the  inheritance has his offices here.

“That was Trepassen House.Not a modest little bungalow, or a Victoria Terrace with a pretentious name,. But a bona fide country seat.”

For country houses to visit nearby, try Trerice in Newquay about 25 miles away or Goldophin House and gardens in Helston


Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

The Death of Mrs Westaway (c) The BookTrail

The Death of Mrs Westaway (c) The BookTrail

I was intrigued to read Ruth Ware’s latest having enjoyed her other books but soon realised this was very different….in a good way…and it took me to the most unexpected of places!

It was a true reading experience that made me shiver despite reading it in the midday sun. It starts off as a story of a girl struggling with life, working as a tarot card reader on Brighton Pier and then….well it takes a remarkable twist the thrill of which lasts throughout the novel

It’s those tarot cards you see – the cards which lead Hal, guide her and warn her of things to come….When she gets a letter saying she’s been left an inheritance from her grandmother who lives in a grand gothic mansion….the cards come in very handy indeed. This was a narrative thread which made em shiver as I read. Very effective and perfect for this gothic twisty tale!

The novel over all has a golden age crime feel to it but also one of Rebecca and indeed the main servant of the house is often called Mrs Danvers. There’s mentions of Jane Eyre (Hal goes to stay in the attic room), sibling rivalry, a dysfunctional family in a grand old house with secrets of inheritance and more to come flooding out.

Trepassen House where the novel is set is fictional but even the name – Trespass – conjures up very real images and emotions.

Step inside…if you dare.

Highly recommended

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Death of Mrs Westaway

Destination : Brighton, Cornwall  Author/Guide: Ruth Ware  Departure Time: 2000s

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