Book Review of The Westing Game

The Westing Game
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Helpful Score: 3


Title: The Westing Game
Author: Ellen Raskin
ISBN: 0439412811/Scholastic
Protagonist: the inhabitants of Sunset Towers
Setting: Westing, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Michigan
Young Adult Mystery
Rating: B

First Line: The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east.

The inhabitants of Sunset Towers are a mixed bag: a podiatrist, restaurateurs, a seamstress, a woman who works at the local soup kitchen, a delivery boy, a secretary,high school students, a woman who has delusions of grandeur.... For the most part, they enjoy living in their apartments with their views of Lake Michigan, until the day that Sam Westing is found dead in the nearby Westing mansion. They all receive letters explaining that they must come to the reading of Westing's will. When they appear, they are divided into teams, given clues and told that the team that finds out who murdered Sam Westing will inherit all his millions. A treasure hunt ensues with a thief and a bomber thrown in for good measure.

Although I was told that I, the reader, was the only one with all the clues, I didn't go out of my way to discover whodunit. I was more than content to go along for the ride. And a fun ride it was, too. The wordplay, humor, characterizations and complex mystery were all first rate. I can see why this book won the Newbery Medal!