Um, so…I didn’t really like The Westing Game. Sorry. I know a lot of y’all LOVE it and it seems like on of those childhood books that everyone remembers fondly, but reading it for the first time as a 29-year-old, it was pretty…meh. Not great. Not awful, but still….
“Friday was back to normal, if the actions of suspicious would-be heirs competing for a two-hundred-million-dollar prize could be considered normal.”
So if you’re not familiar with the plot, basically these sixteen residents of an apartment building (who were all selected to live there previously) are called together when a million named Sam Westing dies. His will states that one of the people present ended his life, and whoever can figure out whodunit receives the considerable inheritance. The sixteen people get paired up, and each receive a few individual words as clues. While they’re working on solving the mystery, other weird things keep happening, including random bombs going off inside the apartment building.
I liked the actual mystery just fine — it’s fairly easy to see where the clues point initially, but solving the mystery gets a lot more complicated and the twists just keep coming during the last section of the book. What left me with a sour taste was the writing — the characters comes across as extremely two-dimensional stereotypes. Only a few get any kind of elaboration, and even that’s pretty lame. Maybe it’s just because it’s a fairly short story, but these people needed to be fleshed out more. I had trouble even keeping track of some of them simply because I didn’t know anything about them — pretty important when one of them might be a killer.