When you are sent a mysterious package that is clearly the property of one L. Snicket, you clearly should not open it. I, however, did the opposite. Inside was a book and a letter from a Lemony Snicket, informing me that the enclosed information was best kept secret from the general public and that I should help him keep this book invisible. I did no such thing and proceeded to read the book, with a sense of dread. I feel that I can no longer keep the contents of this book to myself, as it contained an incredible story that I still cannot believe. This book was Who Could That Be at This Hour? Read on at your own peril.
- Are you curious about what is happening in a seaside town that is no longer by the sea?
- Do you want to know about a stolen item that wasn’t stolen at all?
- Do you really think that’s any of your business? Why? What kind of a person are you? Really?
- Who is standing behind you?
Who Could That Be at This Hour? is uncanny, peculiar and outlandish, all words which here mean ‘quite strange.’ It’s the first book in Lemony Snicket’s new series, in which he gives an account of his apprenticeship in a secret organisation, ‘in a town overshadowed by a sinister conspiracy, culminating in some unnerving and troublesome truths that lay buried for a number of years, while people were busy doing somthing else.’ The story is addictive and once you start, it’s very hard to put down. It’s set in a strange little town, containing ‘a sea without water and a forest without trees,’ and it’s full of bizarre events and curious characters.
Nobody in this story is quite who they first appear to be. There is Lemony’s chaperone, S. Theodora Markson (don’t ask what the S stands for) who is not as competent or highly skilled as she portrays, the mysterious, coffee-drinking Ellington Feint, the shadowy Hangfire, and even Lemony Snicket himself. I love the way that Lemony Snicket describes some of the weird people he meets, like Stew,
He looked like the child of a man and a log, with a big, thick neck and hair that looked like a bowl turned upside down. He had a slingshot tucked into his pocket and a nasty look tucked into his eyes.
My favourite characters in the story are Pip and Squeak, the two brothers who drive the Bellerophon Taxi. They are supposedly filling in for their father, but they’re so short that one steers while the other sits on the floor and pushes the pedals.
If you love mystery and adventure stories, but also want a bit of a laugh, Who Could Be at This Hour? is the perfect book for you. Grab your copy now from your library or bookshop.
5 out of 5 stars