The Westing Game Study Guide

The Westing Game

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game is a novel by Ellen Raskin about sixteen heirs vying for the fortune of recently-deceased millionare, Samuel W. Westing. The heirs are each given $10,000 to play a game in which they are paired up, given a set of clues and told to solve the mystery of who killed Samuel Westing in order to receive his $200 million fortune. In the end, Turtle solves the mystery, realizing that "Samuel Westing" is actually a pseudonym.

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 the name, Sunset Towers faces east– into the sunrise.)

As the story opens, a man named Barney Northrup is selling apartments to a carefully selected group of tenants. It soon emerges that most of the tenants– regardless of age or occupation – are named as heirs in Westing's will. The will is structured as a puzzle, with the 16 heirs challenged to find the solution. 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 will inherit Westing's entire $200 million fortune and control of his company.

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