Book Review: What To Do When Someone Dies by Nicci French

What To Do When Someone Dies by Nicci French

What To Do When Someone Dies was the oldest book on my TBR, so it was time to tackle it. It fitted quite nicely in the R.I.P. VI challenge. It wasn’t even that I didn’t expect to like the book, I just never got round to it.

The book was a nice, easy read. I read it during the 24h readathon, for which it was an ideal book.

What To Do When Someone Dies: What it is about

Ellie gets the shock of her life when two policemen knock on her door to tell her that her husband Greg has died in a car crash. Not only that, but he was in the company of an unknown woman.

Everyone around her immediately assumes that he had an affair but Ellie can’t believe it and she sets out to investigate. She almost accidentally get a part-time job at the office where the “other woman”, Milena, worked. She snoops around trying to find out whether Milena and Greg actually knew each other.

Because she is pretending to be someone else rather than give away that she’s Greg’s widow, she gets herself in some trouble, eventually almost getting arrested for murder.

Both the police and her friends think she’s a little deranged for trying to prove that Greg did not have an affair. It turns out it’s not quite as simple as that.

What To Do When Someone Dies: What I thought

I enjoyed this book a lot. The story was well-paced and I was with Ellie believing that her husband did not have a lover.

Ellie was quite a shy person and I found it not so believable that she would go working at Milena’s office without saying who she was. But everything she did made good sense and I liked her a lot.

My only problem was with the ending. The story’s resolution was not so clear to me – it could have been made a bit more explicit.

I loved the way it was written, I liked what Ellie did to find out about her husband and it was a great read.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I got this book: from a book swap last year

I read this in: in English, the original language

Number of pages: 344

First published: 2008

Genre: mystery

Extras: This is my fourth and finalbook for the R.I.P. Challenge



About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

10 Responses to Book Review: What To Do When Someone Dies by Nicci French

  1. This sounds really good, although your caveat about the ending scares me a little bit.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Lola, maybe it was just me, but I found it hard to get my head round what actually happened. Maybe I should have thought about it a bit more before closing the book. You might well have no problem at all with it.

  2. Joanna says:

    Nicci French is one of these authors that I always liked but never make enough time for…

  3. suzigun says:

    I’m pleased to see that you enjoyed this – I’m a big fan of the Nicci French books. I have to say that I dislike farce, so there were aspects of Ellie’s subversion which could have irritated me, but I could also see how easy it would be to just make the most of the situation.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzigun, yes, she was trying to make the most of the situation. But she seemed quite a quiet person and then to go “undercover” didn’t seem to fit with her personality.

  4. Hi Judith, back from my travels and trying to catch up with all my favourite bloggers. The title put me off at first, but having read your review it has been added to my wishlist.

  5. I really enjoyed this story, but I think the end was too sudden and not really worked out.

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