In chapters 1-4 of The Westing Game, what one mistake does Barney Northrup make?

In chapters 1–4 of The Westing Game, the mistake that Barney Northrup makes is that he chooses one of the tenants of the Sunset Towers incorrectly.

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Towards the beginning of The Westing Game, Barney Northrup signs a set of letters that have been written to sixteen people, asking them to come and live in the apartments of Sunset Towers. These tenants are all the heirs of the Westing fortune and are brought in to solve the mystery of Westing’s death; in doing so, they will be able to inherit the fortune. The sixteen tenants are divided into pairs in order to solve the mystery.

Barney Northrup is the salesman responsible for renting out all the apartments to the tenants. The mistake he makes in the opening chapters of the novel is that he chooses one of the tenants incorrectly. As a result, the group must not only solve the mystery of Westing’s death but also figure out who among them represents a miscalculation in the plan.

As the story continues, the reader gets to know the characters and their interesting, quirky personalities while trying to solve the mystery along with them. Each character has their own significance to the unfolding plot and investigation. The reader will continue to wonder what similarities and differences caused this group of individuals to be joined together in such an interesting scenario and which one doesn’t fit.

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