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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game (original 1978; edition 1997)

by Ellen Raskin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,196204655 (4.16)2 / 170
Title:The Westing Game
Authors:Ellen Raskin
Info:Puffin (1997), Edition: REP REI, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1978)

  1. 110
    From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (infiniteletters)
  2. 30
    The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (bezoar44)
    bezoar44: The Mysterious Benedict Society features a team of kids working to solve puzzles and unravel a dangerous mystery at a claustrophobic boarding school; the Westing Game pits several teams of kids and adults, residents of an apartment building, against one another in a race to decode a will and solve several related mysteries.… (more)
  3. 31
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (chinquapin)
  4. 10
    The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (cmbohn)
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    The Clock Without a Face by Eli Horowitz (sduff222)
  6. 00
    The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman (foggidawn)
  7. 00
    Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (infiniteletters)
  8. 00
    The Spider-Orchid by Celia Fremlin (sietsmareadinglist)
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    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (SFRFS335)
    SFRFS335: Both books are amazingly written.

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Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
The Westing Game consisted of a way more complicated plot than I expected from a 1978 "young adult" mystery novel. Kinda like Clue meets House on Haunted Hill...but different. Not perfect yet fun to read, and I'd definitely recommend The Westing Game to any budding mystery reader. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Feb 16, 2015 |
Warning: If you want to be completely surprised by the whole book, DO NOT read the Introduction by the author's editor. She inadvertently gives away a major clue, which really ruined much of the mystery for me.

The Westing Game is essentially a locked-room mystery for a teenage audience. A number of eccentric characters are brought together for the reading of a will -- even though most of them don't seem to have any apparent connection to the deceased -- and then they have to figure out a mystery to inherit a substantial amount of money. The characters are delightfully odd, but there's not much to them beside their quirks. There's some great humor (and some eye-rolling humor) that keeps the tale moving. I thought the ending was a little predictable, and there's some question whether the whole scheme could be pulled off in today's world, but it was still a fun read.

LT Haiku:

Would you play a game
against a dead man for a
large inheritance? ( )
  legallypuzzled | Feb 16, 2015 |
I loved how everything came together in the end!
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
This book had me just as hooked as it did the first time I read it for school. What a wonderful reread! ( )
  sscarllet | Nov 20, 2014 |
This is literally my favorite book of all time. I have five copies. I buy it every time I see it for sale at a garage sale or library sale. I have given copies to multiple children of friends and co-workers. It is a book which can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Sam Westing, eccentric millionaire and founder of Westing Paper Products has gathered his sixteen heirs to play an elaborate game which should reveal the person who took his life. The winner will inherit his 200 million dollar fortune. The players are put into unlikely partnerships and clues are distributed.
Each character has a flaw or foible and most are influenced by the events of the game to make a discovery or change about themselves and their lives. Our heroine is a very clever 13 year old girl, neglected by her mother and generally misunderstood, which was one of the reasons I so identified with the book as a youngster.
Even upon repeated readings, the mystery holds up. All clues and revelations make sense, nothing contradicts; it's plotted perfectly.
Honestly, if you haven't read this book, you need to do so right now. If you have a pre-teen in your life with whom to discover it, all the better. ( )
  EmScape | Nov 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellen Raskinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durell, AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Jenny who asked for a puzzle-mystery and Susan K.
First words
The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!
Clues, they had to work on those clues. Behind closed doors. Whisper, someone may be listening.
Remember: It is not what you have, it's what you don't have that counts.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Sixteen people were invited to the reading of the very strange will of the very rich Samuel W. Westing. They could become millionaires, depending on how they played the game.

The not-quite-perfect heirs were paired, and each pair was given $ 10,000 and a set of clues (no two sets of clues were alike). All they had to do was find the answer, but the answer to what?

The Westing game was tricky and dangerous, but the heirs played on, through blizzards and burglaries and bombs bursting in air. And one of them won!

With her own special blend of intricacy, humor, and upside-down perceptions, Ellen Raskin has entangled a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot. She then deftly unravels it again in a surprising (but fair) and highly satisfying ending.

Haiku summary
Would you play a game

against a dead man for a

large inheritance?


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014240120X, Paperback)

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will...and what a will it is!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:35 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

(summary from another edition)

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