Who Could That Be at This Hour?
Who Could That Be at This Hour?

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Series: All The Wrong Questions Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket begins his apprenticeship with S. Theodora Markson of the secretive V.F.D. in the tiny dot of a town called Stain'd-By-The-Sea, where he helps investigate the theft of a statue.
Catalog Number: #86841
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Seth,
Pages: 258 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-33547-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-82845-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-33547-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-82845-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2012012657
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Oh, Lemony Snicket. How you confound us. For instance, in this book, the first of the All the Wrong Questions series, you give us so many unmoored happenings that readers may be inclined to believe they've landed in the middle of the second book. True, we will learn you're an almost-13-year-old boy and that you escape your parents (or are they your parents?!) in a tea room to meet the woman with whom you'll apprentice. And then you and S. Theodora Markson (what does the S stand for?) make your way to a sea town, now devoid of the ink for which it's famous, and deserted by its residents, to find a statue rather like the Maltese Falcon, only it's the Bombinating Beast. Someone is waiting for you back home, but who? What's this secret program you seem to be a part of? Who cares about the Bombinating Beast? (You may take that comment any way you wish.) But just as when you were with those charming Baudelaire children, the adventures roll and one can only speculate what's around the corner. Not that it will do any good. Kudos to Seth for the marvelous woodcut art. The pictures seem to hold clues. Or do they? HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Please, it's Lemony Snicket. Enough said.
Horn Book
Young Lemony is a detective apprentice in the Sam Spade mode, successfully investigating the theft of a black wooden statue. In a style equal parts deadpan and just plain nutty, Snicket demonstrates his gift for metaphor, and illustrations by cartoonist Seth are a perfect tonal match. Take a deep breath, fans: this is the first of a new series.
Publishers Weekly
Snicket, author of the wildly successful Series of Unfortunate Events stories, returns with the first in the projected four-volume All the Wrong Questions series, supplying "autobiographical" accounts of his unusual childhood. Nearly 13 when the book opens, Snicket is beginning his apprenticeship for a mysterious organization under the tutelage of dimwitted S. Theodora Markson, who is ranked dead last in effectiveness by the agency but who may be the source of Snicket's tic of defining vocabulary pedantically, a word which here means, oh, never mind. Unlike Snicket's Unauthorized Biography (HarperCollins, 2002), which left readers as uninformed about him as they were before they read it, this account reveals that Lemony is "an excellent reader, a good cook, a mediocre musician, and an awful quarreler." Not mind-blowing, but it's a start. And perhaps not true. Straight answers are hard to find as Snicket and Markson investigate a theft in a seaside town that's been drained of its sea, encountering deception and double crosses at every turn. Full of Snicket's trademark droll humor and maddeningly open-ended, this will have readers clamoring for volume two. Ages 9-up. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Oct.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4&11;7&12; In this "autobiographical" mystery, a teenaged Lemony Snicket recounts his early experiences as an apprentice to S. Theodora Markson, a pretentious woman who is not remotely as intelligent as she pretends. The two travel to the formerly seaside (but now not) town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea to investigate the theft of, what they are told, is a priceless heirloom. The identity of the culprit is obvious. Or is it? There's much more to this case than meets the eye. To uncover what's really going on, the inquisitive Snicket must figure out who he can trust and which questions to ask before it's too late. This fast-paced whodunit is likely to leave readers with questions of their own. Hopefully, they're the right questions-which, hopefully, will be answered in upcoming sequels. Written in Snicket's gloomy, yet undeniably charming, signature style and populated with wonderfully quirky characters, this enjoyable start of a new series will thrill fans of the author's earlier works and have even reluctant readers turning pages with the fervor of seasoned bookworms. A must-have.&12; Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Young Mr. Snicket seems to always ask the wrong questions. In the basin of a bay drained of seawater, where giant needles extract ink from octopi underground, sits Stain'd-by-the-Sea, the mostly deserted town where 12-year-old Lemony Snicket takes his first case as apprentice to chaperone S. Theodora Markson. They have been hired by Mrs. Murphy Sallis to retrieve a vastly valuable statue of the local legend, the Bombinating Beast, from her neighbors and frenemies the Mallahans. Nothing's what it seems…well, the adults are mostly nitwits…and Snicket is usually preoccupied with someone he left in the city doing something he should be helping her do. With the help and/or hindrance of girls Moxie and Ellington, can Snicket keep his promises and come close to solving a mystery? Author Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) returns with a tale of fictional-character Snicket's early years, between his unconventional education and his chronicling of the woes of the Baudelaires. Intact from his earlier series are the gothic wackiness, linguistic play and literary allusions. This first in a series of four is less grim and cynical and more noir and pragmatic than Snicket's earlier works, but just as much fun. Fans of the Series of Unfortunate Events will be in heaven picking out tidbit references to the tridecalogy, but readers who've yet to delve into that well of sadness will have no problem enjoying this weird and witty yarn. (Mystery. 8-12)
Word Count: 36,757
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 154479 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q59107
Guided Reading Level: V
Fountas & Pinnell: V

Before the Baudelaires became orphans, before he encountered A Series of Unfortunate Events, even before the invention of Netflix, Lemony Snicket was a boy discovering the mysteries of the world.

In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume.

Penned in signature style, "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" (also published as All the Wrong Questions: Question 1) invites readers to untangle the mysteries that surround young Lemony Snicket.


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