Lemony Snicket - Who Could That Be at This Hour? (4 stars)

Lemony Snicket - Who Could That Be at This Hour?

The author of A Series of Unfortunate Events launches his new series

It may be unwise to judge a book by its cover, but in this case at least, the title is a good indicator. The intrigue generated by those seven little words continues into the first chapter and pretty much every page onwards, until we reach the denouement at 258.

Except, that is, we don’t. In true Lemony Snicket style, Who Could That Be at This Hour? is just the start of another glorious journey, following his enormously successful A Series of Unfortunate Events. This new series comes under the banner All The Wrong Questions, with three more future books promised. All of which is seriously good news, because the world we enter in this first volume is so off-beat and mysterious, you can’t wait to get back there.

The person asking all those wrong questions is Snicket himself who, aged just 12, is working as an apprentice for a secret organisation. In order to prove his mettle, he’s taken to Stain’d-by-the-Sea, a once lively town now deserted save for a few oddball characters, where a straightforward burglary assignment turns into something far more complex and layered.

An autobiography written by a fictional character is a strange and slightly confusing concept. The fact that Snicket doesn’t actually exist, and is in fact the creation of author Daniel Handler, only serves to make the book more exciting. Snicket isn’t real, so when strange events happen in the equally strange world he inhabits, we just go with it. All The Wrong Questions volume two can’t come soon enough.

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