Before The 39 Clues…
(I wasn’t able to finish the book I am reading (From Charlie’s Point of View) because I was busy sorting books and squee-ing because of my latest book hoard, so let me share one of my favorite books instead.)
Winner of the 1979 Newbery Medal, Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game is a book I’ve read more times than I can count — I remember a few times I actually read it twice in one day. I’ve also run through 4 different editions of the book — mass market, Puffin Modern Classic, trade paperback, and finally, a hardcover I found at Book Sale last year. It’s original, intelligent and entertaining, and a brilliant whodunit to boot!
Sixteen different people — of different ethnicities, and of no apparent relationship to one another except that all of them either live or work in the same apartment building — are summoned for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will.
The heirs are a crazy and spirited bunch, among them:
Madame Sun Lin Hoo, Shin Hoo’s wife, imported from China;
Doug Hoo, a track and field athlete;
Christos Theodorakis, a kid confined to his wheelchair and an avid birdwatcher;
Theo Theodorakis, Chris’ brother, a high school student, pal of Doug Hoo;
Dr. Jake Wexler, podiatrist;
Grace Windsor Wexler, Dr. Wexler’s idle wife;
Turtle Wexler, the Wexlers’ smart aleck younger daughter;
Angela Wexler, the Wexler family beauty, engaged to be married to
Dr. Denton Deere, an intern;
Flora Baumbach, a dressmaker;
Alexander McSouthers, the apartment’s doorman;
Josie-Jo Ford, a judge;
Berthe Crow, the cleaning lady;
Otis Amber, the messenger;
and Sydelle Pulaski, a secretary.
What’s fun about this book is that it will keep you guessing, with a variety of imaginative puzzles you can solve together with and the characters… and then wham! Revelations throughout the book will make you doubt your original guess. And just when you’re ready to give your final answer… bam! Raskin turns everything around with a twisty plot!
I am getting worked up just talking about it, hahaha. I just love this book :)
My copy: hardcover with dust jacket, plus a trade paperback for lending and rereading
My rating: 5/5 stars
- The Cricket in Times Square
- Queen of Babble Gets Hitched
- Figgs and Phantoms
- Sherlock Holmes and Flippers, a.k.a. Who killed Czar?
- Vintage Parade! (Picture Book Roundup #9)
- All about Seuss
- Meet Cliff Janeway, the crime-busting book lover
- Currently reading: Beyond the Grave (The 39 Clues Book 4)
- Up, Up, and Away
- A Pig, A Panda, and a Tiger (Picture book roundup #4)