Thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket had an unusual education that prepared him for anything—from solving dangerous and convoluted crimes to gracefully escaping from one’s parents through a bathroom window. But unfortunately, Snicket’s preparations are thwarted when the chaperone to whom he is apprenticed changes her plans and takes him to an obscure seaside village–away from the city where the rest of his colleagues were counting on his help with something big, important, and (as most things in Lemony Snicket’s life are) mysterious. In the small village of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, however, Snicket seems to have stumbled into another mystery, far too complex for his bumbling chaperone to solve. It will be up to him to figure out who stole an ancient, worthless statue and why someone would say something was stolen when it was never theirs to begin with. Unfortunately, he keeps asking all the wrong questions. . . .
Although the Series of Unfortunate Events was not my favorite series, Daniel Handler (the author behind the “Lemony Snicket” pen name) also wrote the YA novel Why We Broke Up, which became one of my favorite books the moment I read it. So I was excited to give his newest Lemony Snicket series a try. The writing style of this new series is contrived and difficult to follow, but this is clearly intentional on Handler’s part to help create an over-the-top noir mystery atmosphere. Though it was not an instant favorite, the plot is intriguing, and I am excited for the release of book two of the All the Wrong Questions series in October 2013 to find out what happens next! I highly recommend this book to fans of the Series of Unfortunate Events and of M.T. Anderson’s Whales on Stilts and to readers who like noir mysteries, such as the Chet Gecko books.