Suggested Reading: The Westing Game

This month the Central Library Literacy Book Club has decided to challenge themselves with an award winning mystery novel, The Westing Game! This clue-riddled book was written by Ellen Raskin and published in 1978. The Westing Game has had a place on our library’s bookshelves ever since!

A bit about the book’s plot: “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 its name, Sunset Towers faces east – into the sunrise.) Sam Westing was a wealthy businessman who made his fortune in paper products. He was very patriotic and never smoked, drank, or gambled.

As the story opens, Barney Northrup is selling apartments to a carefully selected group of tenants. After Sam Westing dies, at the beginning of the book, it emerges that most of the tenants are named as heirs in Westing’s will. The will is structured like a puzzle, with the 16 heirs challenged to find the solution. In the will it states that one of his heirs has taken his life. 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 of his death will inherit Westing’s entire $200 million fortune and control of his company.”

If you would like more information about Ellen Raskin, her interesting real life inspiration for this work, and a few (major) spoilers, take a look at this incredible comprehensive review from The New Yorker.

Now try your hand at putting these tantalizing puzzle pieces together to figure out who the killer is and who will become the heir to the Westing fortune! Read along with our learners by getting your own copy from the Library Catalog today! And don’t forget to come back and tell us what you thought!

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