"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket is the first book in a new series, All the Wrong Questions.
Lemony Snicket is apprenticed to S. Theodora Markson, and together they
travel to the little town of Stain'd-By-The-Sea for an assignment: to
steal a certain object and make sure it is returned to its rightful
owner. The job is not as straightforward as it sounds, though, and
Lemony may be caught up in a bigger mystery than he had anticipated.
book has the same feel as the Series of Unfortunate Events, though in
this case Snicket is telling his own story, rather than that of the
Baudelaire orphans. He still enjoys throwing in the definitions of some
of the more complicated words that he comes across, and he makes veiled
references to quite a few works of literature that some of his readers
may recognize. (I think I got most of them, though one or two had me
stumped. To tell the truth, figuring out which titles he was referring
to was probably my favorite part of this book.)
The plot is weird
and wacky and even less straightforward than the plots of his earlier
books. Too few of the mysteries we encountered were resolved for my
taste, and the end of the book left me feeling frustrated rather than
satisfied. I also found that it took me longer to read the book than I
expected, as I kept putting it down and going off to do other things.
However, I fully admit that it might just be me, in this case -- so if
you are a big fan of the Series of Unfortunate Events, you will almost
certainly want to pick this book up and judge its merits for yourself.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)