The Westing Game

Introduction

The Westing Game is a mystery novel written by Ellen Raskin and published by Dutton in 1978. It won the Newbery Medal recognizing the year's most distinguished contribution to American children's literature.[1] The story involves 16 seemingly unrelated heirs of reclusive businessman Sam Westing and his challenge to figure out the secret of his death. The heirs must figure out who killed Westing by clues in his will.

The Westing Game was ranked number nine among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal in 2012.[2] It has been adapted as the 1997 feature film Get a Clue (also distributed as The Westing Game).

Sunset Towers is a new apartment building on Lake Michigan, north of Milwaukee and just down the shore from the mansion owned by reclusive self-made millionaire Samuel W. Westing. (Despite the name, Sunset Towers faces east – into the sunrise.)

As the story opens, a man named Barney Northrup is selling apartments to a carefully selected group of tenants. It soon emerges that most of the tenants – regardless of age or occupation – are named as heirs in Westing's will. The will is structured as a puzzle, with the 16 heirs challenged to find the solution. Each of the eight pairs, assigned seemingly at random, is given $10,000 cash and a different set of baffling clues. The pair that solves the mystery will inherit Westing's entire $200 million fortune and control of his company.


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