Category Archives: the westing game

The Westing Game

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The Westing Game

16 heirs come together in a game of cat and mouse that will reveal a murderer and award the winner with a $200 million dollar inheritance. Or so everyone thinks. Conveniently brought together in a new apartment complex, Sunset Towers, across the way from the abandoned Westing estate, the 16 heirs are called to the reading of the will for the recently deceased Samuel Westing. Each of the heirs has a connection to the Westing family, and according to the will, one of those heirs murdered Samuel Westing. Or did they? That’s is the task put to the heirs. In order to get the inheritance they must figure out who murdered Samuel Westing. The heir are divided into pairs and each pair is given a set of clues to figure out the murderer.

As the pairs progress with their clues, the reader gets to find out more about each character and their possible connection to Samuel Westing. Raskin does an amazing job of fleshing out each character, giving them depth and personality. Turtle Wexler really stands out in my mind as the precocious and aggressive 13 year old girl who just wants to be noticed and taken seriously. This clever teenager plays a huge role in the final mystery solving and reminded me a bit of Harriet the Spy mixed with Nancy Drew. Turtle can hold her own.

The whole novel was an homage to the locked room mysteries of Agatha Christie. The plot is threaded with subtle clues and red herrings that the reader has to keep track of. The pace of the plot keeps you on your toes and guessing until the end. According to the little introduction in the front of the book, Raskin wrote this novel off the cuff and added on clues as she wrote, which, considering the complexity of the mystery, is pretty darn amazing. I can see why this novel won the Newberry Medal. The plotting is ingenious and the characters unforgettable. The Westing Game is a twisty puzzle of a mystery.

Rating: 4.5/5

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

Speed Reading

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Speed Reading

Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a book you can read in a day. Once again, I went back and forth on what to choose for this book for the longest time. I was oscillating between three different books but finally decided upon Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game. I stumbled across this book at my local library and was instantly intrigued. I had never heard of the novel or the author before which made me doubly intrigued. I love to discover and read new authors.

Reading the back of this book, it sounds like it’s going to be a cross between Clue and Sherlock Holmes. Sixteen people gather together for the reading of Samuel Westing’s will. The will states that they could become millionaires if they play some kind of game in order to get the money. These sixteen people must find the answer to a mysterious question by playing the dangerous Westing game.

With a synopsis like that it sounds like I can’t lose with this one. Not to mention that this novel won the Newberry Medal in 1979.

Stay tuned for the review of The Westing Game and some good old fashioned sleuthing fun. Happy reading!