Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

This book is a former Newbery Award winner, and I gave it a rating of three out of five. Samuel Westing, the owner of a multi-million dollar company, is found dead in his home after being unseen for fifteen years. He leaves behind a will that indicates he may have been murdered by one of the sixteen heirs mentioned in his will. The will also describes a contest in which the heir who identifies Westing's killer first will inherit two hundred million dollars. Most of the heirs recently moved into a new apartment building that sits next to Westing's home, and the will pairs the heirs into teams to discover the killer. Each pair is given five different words that are clues to solving the mystery.

I always like a good mystery, and I liked trying to put the clues together before the solution was revealed in the end. The clues needed to solve the puzzle were present, and that's something I demand from my mysteries. I want to have a fair chance to predict the outcome, and this plot was very complicated and challenging. However, I didn't like the quick changes in points of view, and there were just too many characters and suspects. My brain constantly jumped from clue to clue and suspect to suspect as the plot unfolded. The point of view changed from paragraph to paragraph as the narrator was totally omniscient. It made the plot rather choppy and hard to follow.

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