Lemony Snicket Returns With New Noir Story

Posted by at 11:30 am on November 1, 2012

Author Lemony Snicket rose to fame with his chronicles of the misadventures of the Baudalaire orphans in the “Series of Unfortunate Events” books. The story began with the death of the children’s parents in a fire and continued on through several volumes of shady guardians, death threats and terrible misadventures that the children always managed to escape from by using their wits. Eventually the popular stories were also adapted for the big screen.

Mr.Snicket makes his latest appearance, and is the protagonist in this new story instead of being just the narrator. In “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” Lemony is 12, and he has a job to do. Although he works under the bone-headed tutelage of a foolish woman with hair “impossible to tame, like leeches,” there is a secret mission beneath this facade. He has intentionally selected S. Theodora Markson as his chaperone on the basis of her incompetence, because it will allow him to accomplish his real mission, whatever that is. It’s not really clear, which is why this is Book 1 in the “All the Wrong Questions” series.

The story begins in a tearoom with “the worst eggs in the entire city, including those on exhibit at the Museum of Bad Breakfast.” When he meets Theodora by leaving from a bathroom window, she tells him the situation is urgent, but she is unable to explain its complications “under the present circumstances.”

“Under the present circumstances,” Snicket replies. “You mean, right now.”

“Of course that’s what I mean.”

“If we’re in a great hurry, why didn’t you just say ‘right now’?”

The book operates on three levels: There’s the story aimed at children, there’s the wit a child may or may not get, and there are the clues and cultural references that turn the book into a puzzle. Along the way there’s also theft and adventure the fans of his previous work have come to expect.”Who Could That Be at This Hour?” is available now at Amazon and other booksellers.

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