Synopsis: Match wits with Lemony Snicket to solve thirteen mini-mysteries.
Paintings have been falling off of walls, a loud and loyal dog has gone missing, a specter has been seen walking the pier at midnight — strange things are happening all over the town of Stain’d-By-The-Sea. Called upon to investigate thirteen suspicious incidents, young Lemony Snicket collects clues, questions witnesses, and cracks every case. Join the investigation and tackle the mysteries alongside Snicket, then turn to the back of the book to see the solution revealed.
A delicious read that welcomes readers into Lemony Snicket’s world of deep mystery, mysterious depth, deductive reasoning, and reasonable deductions.
Review: A few years ago, I tried to read the first book of the series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. I was in somewhat of a bad place at that time in my life, and I found the book really depressing and gave up after a few hours. I don’t know what it was about the book, but I could see that something bad was happening to the children, but they couldn’t see it and I couldn’t stomach it for whatever reason. Anyway, I was looking up books recently and came across this new series by Lemony Snicket and this book in particular intrigued me. I remember reading similar books as a child (meant for adults, though) with short mysteries with the solution at the end. I liked the idea of this being updated and for children, so I thought I would give Lemony Snicket another chance.
I was pretty disappointed, though. I think the book, though a children’s book, is written in such a way that I don’t think children would be interested in it. It seems like a book an adult would write who doesn’t really understand what interests children and it seems more like a book an adult nostalgic for childhood would want to read. It uses very flowery language, plus many words that might be above children and then has the gall to explain what they mean. While I think adding some unfamiliar words that help children t0 improve their vocabulary, the way this book goes about it feels really condescending. There are also lots of cutesy, twee names that annoyed me. I can’t think of any examples, but I was frustrated by the writing. Which I felt was trying to hard to be funny and clever.
As for the mysteries, maybe I am just an idiot, but I didn’t understand some of the solutions. About half of the mysteries didn’t make sense to me. I’m not sure if this was just me, though! Some of them, I did have to go back and quickly scan the story again to try to see where the clues were. But some of them I just flat out didn’t understand.
Finally, the one good thing that I liked about the book were the illustrations. I wish more had been included, because I thought they were very well done and went with the overall mood of the book. Overall, I was generally disappointed by this book and will be steering clear of Lemony Snicket from now on.