Author: Lemony Snicket
Release date: 20th June 2013
Target audience: 9+
‘Who Could That Be at This Hour?’ is a quirky, oddball mystery. It’s whacky, it’s confusing and it’s full of fantastic words. It’s the first book in the All the Wrong Questions series.
Lemony Snicket is a young apprentice to S. Thedora Markson. Quite what is he is training for is unclear. But I gathered that it was perhaps a private detective of some kind. He travels with Thedora to a client in Stain’d-by-the-Sea. A town unlike one you’ve ever seen before. There he is employed to locate and return an object which has been stolen.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But I’m not sure I’ve ever read a children’s book which was so deliberately confusing. This book is bonkers. Why was Lemony Snicket in the cafe at the beginning? Why did he sneak out the window? Why does he choose the worst chaperone available? I’ve finished the book and there are still many unanswered questions. However, I did enjoy reading it.
My only complaint about this oddball book is the ending. Because after all the crazy setting, characters and unanswered questions, it turns out you have to read the next one to find out who was after the stolen object in this story. I felt like I’d been cheated. I love series books but as far as I’m concerned the story does need to be wrapped up rather than just left hanging. Especially when you consider that younger readers are persevering with so much new exciting language and strange happenings. They deserve a rewarding ending and not a feeling of bafflement.
A quick mention for the illustrations by Seth - I love them. They are as quirky as the story and they certainly helped me follow what was happening.
I decided to read this book for the A to Z Reading Challenge – for letter Q for Questions. It is surely the perfect book for that category. It was funny and definitely strange and overall, it was entertaining.
Source: Borrowed from the school library