The Westing Game


A jumble of heirs (and one mistake) vie for millions.

On the shore of Lake Michigan, a fortune awaits 16 heirs. Upon death, Sam Westing (chess wizard, pyrotechnics fan, patriot) bequeaths one last game: suss out Westing’s murderer, and win the estate. The would-be detectives—a scrappy kid with a knack for the stock market, a homesick thief, a birdwatcher, and assorted adults gloomy with familial wounds—are split in teams of two. Armed with $10,000 and a set of odd clues, each team scrambles for answers in this sharp-witted novel.

My siblings and I hungered for intrigue, snooping on neighbors with a pair of plastic binoculars. We lifted smudgy fingerprints with tape and crushed graphite, and took turns tapping wisely on our chins as big-time sleuths ready for our first case. In truth, I was a weenie, relieved when our little bloodhound gang grumbled, “No one is up to anything, anywhere.” Better to stick with bookish thrills. In The Westing Game, misdeeds, secrets, and feints unspool in the mind’s wilds—enough to keep any kid engrossed in this whiz-bang mystery.

Find The Westing Game at your local library.