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Samuel Westing: Eccentric Man
"I, Samuel W. Westing, hereby swear that I did nor die of natural causes. My life was taken from me - by one of you!"
The Westing Game is a novel by Ellen Raskin and one of the best mysteries I have ever read. I have always enjoyed wordplay and there is a great deal of it in this story. The story is also reminiscent of the Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald Sobel in that there is a mystery which can only be found because of a way things could be worded. This book also brought to mind the movie Rat Race in which there were several people scrambling to find clues to a fortune.
The author does an excellent job of weaving together stories, and shows how these sixteen people were chosen as contestants. The way that she brings all of them together is both comical and sweet at various times. There are stories that contrast each other as well as stories that parallel. Almost all of the characters grow and change during the novel as well. And unlike some stories in which there is a large ensemble of main characters, there is no getting lost when the author switches from one character to another.