The Westing Game is a murder mystery like no other, with an unusual plot, a fantastically quirky cast of characters, and more unexpected twists than you can count. Written in 1978 by Ellen Raskin, it won the 1979 Newbery Medal, which is pretty much the best prize you can get in children's literature. (It also won a bunch of other prizes.) Once you win the Newbery, though, you're golden; the rest is gravy. Raskin's book has remained very popular in the 30+ years since it was published. It's taught in elementary and middle schools all over the United States and, we like to think, enjoyed by readers of all ages. There are few mysteries written for adults that are as engaging, and with $200 million at stake in the game, figuring out the clues is hardly child's play.
Today, The Westing Game is considered Raskin's most famous work, even though she was also a prolific illustrator and designer who created several original, well-regarded picture books. But The Westing Game, with its intricate plotting, sneaky character development and unexpected conclusion, is the thing that really keeps people coming back for more. Readers are left wishing that Raskin had been able to write even more novels, although we have to say, we're glad to have gotten our hands on this one.
Ever wondered about who you really are, or who you might have been if you were born into different circumstances? What about the kind of stuff you could do with hundreds of millions of dollars? If you've considered an aspect of those questions, then this is a book for you. Thinking about who you really are is a massive and tough question. But thinking about what we could do if we became super-rich is the kind of thing we all like to dream about. Add in one of the most complicated strategy games you're likely to see, add a dash of constant suspicion, and top off with a hunt for an evil murderer… Forget James Bond movies, this is what it means to be part of a real thriller. So, dig into The Westing Game, have fun, and sharpen your own spy skills in the process.