Auntie M missed Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway and decided to make up for it now–and was happy she did. An homage to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca and reminiscent of the more contemporary Elly Griffiths’ The Stranger Diaries, Ware’s brings that same gothic feel to her story.

Hal Westaway is doing here best to survive in Brighton after being orphaned suddenly a few years earlier. With her mother gone, she’s taken over her booth on Brighton’s West Pier, where she tells fortunes and reads tarot cards.

But she’s deeply in debt and worried about her future when a letter arrives that tells her she’s in line for part of an inheritance from her grandmother and she should prepare to travel to Cornwall for the woman’s funeral and reading of the will.

This could be the answer to Hal’s financial issues, except for one thing: she’s certain she’s not the Harriet Westaway the letter refers to, as her own grandparents are long dead.

Circumstances make Hal decide to brazen it out; she travels to the funeral and meets the enigmatic Westaway family, a collection of three brothers, a sister-in-law, two rowdy teens, and in the role of Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper Mrs. Warren.

As Hal learns to read the family, her forte, and learns of their differing relationships, she is shocked when the reading of the will leads to even more complications. And that’s where the real mystery begins.

Readers will become caught up in a clever and suspenseful tale that tracks back on itself as the eerie setting adds to the increasingly tense situation Hal finds herself in. A satisfying and surprising read.