Monday, August 18, 2014

Heard: "When Did You See Her Last?" by Lemony Snicket

Heard: When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket, 2013, Overdrive download.

Second in the mystery series of 13-year-old Lemony assigned to an incompetent mentor and working in Stain'd-by-the-Sea.  Their last case was wrapped up and they are now hired to find a missing teen girl.  The girl is Miss Cleo Knight.  Everyone refers to her as Miss Knight.  The Knights own Ink Inc. The town is plastered with missing posters but Miss Knight's parents are pumped to the gills with laudanum thanks to their personal apothecary and oblivious to everything.

Apothecary?  Yes.  Snicket still loves using a wide vocabulary and enjoys having characters discuss the definition and usage of odd or archaic words.

Anyway.  Snicket sees the trouble: evil-acting apothecary, inconsistencies in theory that Miss Knight joined the circus, Miss Knight's abandoned automobile.  S. Theodora Markson, Snicket's mentor, continues to be an idiot and will take any excuse to close to a case, even if the explanation is bunkum.

Snicket digs around and we are reintroduced to a few of the town's residents.  The Librarian.  The hotel owner.  The plucky girl journalist.  The equally plucky boy taxi drivers. The bickering married couple who are the town's police force.  The cop couple's rotten kid.  The mysterious, alluring, and untrustworthy Ellington Feint.  Snicket discovers that evil mastermind Hangfire is behind things.  Snicket discovers other deceits.  Snicket rescues Miss Knight with the assistance of a few others.

1. Snicket wants to be back in the City and working with his sister.  They have been secretly communicating with one another and she is working on something of importance to them both.
2.  Filled with literary references but Snicket never gives titles or author names.  Some of the books I can figure out, like Pippy Lockstocking, but others I have no clue.
3.  Non sequiters by the dozens.
4.  Discussion on sneaked versus snuck.
5.  One thing I'd not thought about with traditional hard boiled novels is that the hardcase PIs are very involved emotionally but do their best to hide it.  For me the smart comebacks and tough guy exterior stick out more than the regret and sorrow.  I see this more with Snicket's worry over his sister, his promises to Ellington Feint, disgust with the poor police work and incomptence by his mentor.
 6.  Third recent book that refers to laudanum.  Moonstone and Hop Alley were previous.
7. Hangfire.  I think of the Stones song and delayed ignition of ammunition.  I miss any puns or references inherent in most of the characters and place names because I get the audio version. I'm not sure what Snicket is going for with this name.  If anything.

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