Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-In this follow-up to "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" (Little, Brown, 2012) 12-year-old Lemony Snicket is an apprentice in a mysterious organization and still stationed in Stain'd by the Sea with his stern and unimaginative chaperone, S. Theodora Markson. (Readers still don't know what the S. stands for.) Lemony and his mentor have been assigned to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Cleo Knight, a brilliant chemist and daughter of the richest couple in town. Markson is content to believe the far-fetched theory that Miss Knight has run away to join the circus and considers the case closed. Lemony is convinced that the girl's disappearance is connected to a string of recent crimes in town and believes that only one man can be responsible: the villainous Hangfire. With a little help from his friends (most of whom are familiar faces from the first book), Lemony sets out to find Miss Knight himself and to stop Hangfire and his dastardly accomplices in their tracks. While the abundant wordplay and several unanswered questions may trip up some younger readers, Snicket goes to great lengths to keep his audience up to speed, recounting backstory and defining advanced vocabulary in a way that is never patronizing, and is in fact fairly humorous. The author's trademark wit and talent for sustaining suspense make this fast-paced, noir mystery a fun choice for kids who enjoy a good whodunit. And for the faithful fans of Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins), this is a must-have.-Liz Overberg, Darlington School, Rome, GA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In book two of the All the Wrong Questions series, we find young Lemony still in Stain'd-by-the-Sea, still in the company of mentor S. Theodora Markson, but with a new mystery to solve: Where is Miss Cleo Knight? And what is the secret project on which she has been working? But as Snicket's pal, reporter Moxie Mallahan, knows, those aren't the right questions, at least as far as the big picture is concerned. These are: What is this job exactly? Where did you come from? How long will you stay? When will you leave? Why are you investigating things in this town? Though the Cleo case gets closed, the larger issues remain, becoming curiouser and curiouser. While we wait for answers, Snicket introduces a sometimes charming, more often alarming cast of characters: the bickering husband-and-wife police force (and their smirking son, Stew); Pip and Squeak, the taxi-driving Bellerophon brothers; the mysterious (and cute) Ellington Feint; and the mysterious (and sinister) Hangfire all of whom keep the pages turning. The droll young Snicket makes a perfect presenter as he careens from difficulty to difficulty, yet always with his eye on the ball. Or is it? HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The major marketing campaign continues, including a national author tour. There's no stopping Snicket!--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
A further adventure for the young private eye Lemony Snicket involves the disappearance of Cleo Knight, a brilliant young chemist who is the only hope for the rejuvenation of the moribund town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea. Snicket's dim adult associate S. Theodora Markson thinks the case is solved, that Knight has run away with the circus. Snicket knows better. In the course of his investigation he reconnects with kid-journalist Moxie Mallahan, the Bellerophon brothers, and a number of other characters from his previous case, Who Could That Be at This Hour? (rev. 1/13). And while dropping more hints about his own mysterious family background; demonstrating his gift for deadpan; and musing on such topics as the zen of lock-picking and the pointlessness of honeydew melons, Snicket also confronts the bad guy and solves the mystery. Reading this second adventure is like playing a combination of Clue (was it Dr. Flammarion with the hypodermic syringe in the Colophon Clinic?) and a children's literature version of Trivial Pursuit, as the text is peppered with references to classic children's books. Final art unseen. sarah ellis (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Questions answered, question posed (the wrong one again). Mysteries solved, mystery deepens. Nearly 13-year-old Lemony Snicket chased the missing statue of the Bombinating Beast under the inept, ignorant and annoying supervision of his mentor S. Theodora Merkson ("Who Could That Be at This Hour?", 2012). That case didn't turn out too well. They now have a new case, and Theodora looks to be pursuing this as ineptly as she did before. The duo is searching for Miss Cleo Knight, daughter of the heirs of Ink Inc. Her unconcerned parents appear to have been drugged by their private apothecary, Dr. Flammarion, but housekeepers Zara and Zora are deeply worried. Cleo's a brilliant chemist, but shallow investigation points to her having run off to join the circus. Young Mr. Snicket knows most things are not as they seem at first, and while his mentor celebrates solving the case, he investigates further, with the help of associates from his last adventure, and discovers connections to their last caseand the case his sister Kit is working on. Snicket's second of four All the Wrong Questions is more sly noir for preteens. Chock-full of linguistic play and literary allusions to children's and classic literature, this is adventure mystery for young readers who like to think as they read. Little is answered definitively, but fans won't mind; they'll just be pleased there are two more young Snicket adventures to come. (Mystery. 8-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.