If you remember from late last year, Lemony Snicket’s new prequel series to his popular A Series of Unfortunate Events began with the first book. Entitled ‘Who Could That Be At This Hour?‘ it tells the story of a young Lemony Snicket who joins a chaperone called S. Theodora Markson, who is in definite quotation marks, a sort of sleuth come private detective. Together, or rather Lemony, take on a job to solve the mystery surrounding a stolen statue. Along his venture around Stain’d-by-the-Sea, he meets up with a few other children who on the surface seem to be eccentric enough to possibly be the culprit. It was a book that, I felt anyway, ultimately failed. I thought its storyline was dry, and the characters all a little wooden.
However, with the new book just announced, I’m in a forgiving mood. Perhaps the series gets better as it goes along. You may wonder why in fact I still read books aimed at a younger audience, and to be fair, you have the right to ask. Truth be told, I love books aimed at all audiences, and I think it is incredibly important to read a wide variety of books. Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) is a brilliant author. He mixes dark themes and adult situations among his children’s books, which I think can be an important factor to be taken into account.
The new book in the ‘All The Wrong Questions’ series is When Did You See Her Last? and it promises to build upon its New York Times Bestselling predecessor. With an October 2013 release date, there is ample time to familiarise yourself with Snicket’s work. Here is the blurb:
The second in the highly anticipated new series by Lemony Snicket, the enigmatic author of the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events. In the fading town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, young apprentice Lemony Snicket has a new case to solve when he and his chaperone are hired to find a missing girl. Is the girl a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? Was she seen last at the grocery store? Or could she have stopped at the diner? Is it really any of your business? These are all the wrong questions.
You can just tell that there is going to be twists and turns abound, with a few creative revelations too. Despite not overly liking the first book, I did enjoy the young Lemony. He is a character that is quick-thinking and intelligent, and makes for good company. I also really liked how the children in Who Could That Be At This Hour? took on the role of adults, having to solve the mystery, fight for what’s right, asking all the questions, whereas the adults are squabbling parodies of children, with little insight, intelligence or aptitude to follow things through. I’m expecting to see more of this in the next book.
Here is a trailer-of-sorts:
I really do hope this book is much more entertaining, and as usual, you can expect me to deliver my verdict later on the year when it is released. If you fancy, you can read my review of the first book here.
When Did You See Her Last can be pre-ordered at:
About the Author:
Handler began writing A Series of Unfortunate Events under the Snicket pseudonym in 1998. The books concern three orphaned children who experience progressively terrible events following the alleged death of their parents and burning of their home (done by a man named Count Olaf and his troupe of associates), and Snicket acts as the narrator and biographer of the fictional orphans. The Lemony Snicket books have been international best-sellers.
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