You wouldn’t call Tabitha-Ruth “Turtle” Wexler a great detective. (In fact, you’d probably call her a great kicker-of-shins, if you ever made the 13-year-old a bit angry.) Nor would you—after meeting restaurant owner Shin Hoo, or sweet and gentle old Mrs. Baumbach or the former boxer, Sandy McSouthers—begin calling for a rousing game of Clue.
None of these people seem destined for mystery solving. But all of them, and 12 others—all of whom live in the newly opened apartment complex of Sunset Towers–have been called upon to do that very thing. They’re 16 people asked to solve a mystery—or, more fairly, a series of mysteries—with promise of a great reward.
The first mystery they were faced with was a community invitation to the home of the very wealthy but recently deceased Samuel W. Westing. The second conundrum was the fact that they all were named as possible heirs to the man’s $200 million estate. And the third bit of intrigue is that they’re asked to randomly partner up, each pick up a provided envelope of seemingly random word clues and then figure out … who murdered Sam.
“It’s not what you have, it’s what you don’t have that counts,” the game-loving Westing noted in his will. That, of course, makes each person wonder what everyone else had. For that matter, what unknown secrets does each person have? Why were they chosen? And how did they all come to live in the same apartment building—a building owned by Westing himself?
As Turtle talks to others and thinks things through over the next few days, she becomes certain that the whole affair is a mind game of some sort. Think about it: There was a chess board in the rich man’s game room where they were all gathered.
It’s a board made up of 16 black squares and 16 white squares.
A game of opposing teams filled with strategy, subtle deception and power.
But, Turtle wonders, is she a knight? A queen? Or just another pawn?