Since it is a mystery, this book has many important events. Here are the ten key events.
- Otis Amber delivers invitations to the “heirs” of the Westing Fortune (and Sydelle, the mistake) that lead them to take apartments in Sunset Towers.
They were mothers and fathers and children. A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a buglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake. (ch 1, p. 5)
2. The tenants are summoned to the Westing House and paired up for the Westing Game, where the will is read and they are given $10,000 each as seed money.
3. Turtle sneaks into the Westing House and thinks she sees the body.
4. Several items go missing and several bombs go off. This suspicious behavior is a result of some unstable residents (Mrs. Hoo and Angela), and not the person who murdered Sam Westing.
5. The tenants begin to suspect each other, and this keeps them from working together or sharing their clues. One of them, J.J. Ford, even hires a private investigator.
6. Most of the pairs begin to realize that they actually are a good fit for each other, and each fills the others need, even though they seemed like odd couples at first.
7. Angela reveals that she set off the bombs when she is injured and hospitalized. She felt trapped in her “good daughter” role and did not want to marry Denton Deere. Turtle confesses to protect her.
I, Turtle Wexler, confess to those four bombs. I’m sorry, it was a dumb thing to do and I won’t do it again. But! I am not the burglar and I never murdered anybody, ever. (ch 22, p. 132)
8. A trial is held inside Sunset Towers to determine who the bomber is.
9. Turtle announces that she has won the game because she realized that no one killed Sam Westing. He is Sandy MacSouthers, Barney Northup, and Julian R. Eastman.
10. Angela marries Denton Deere, and Turtle is rich since she inherited from Westing. For the most part everyone lives happily ever after.