|“||But that story is over now, Flammarion. You'll never get your hands on my formula, and I'll never rest until Stain'd-by-the-Sea is a proper town again.||”|
— Cleo Knight, When Did You See Her Last?
She is a brilliant chemist and is very close to her identical twin housekeepers, Zada and Zora. She also owns a fancy car called Dilemma. She is working on a formula to make invisible ink in hopes of restoring Stain'd-by-the-Sea to its former self.
|“||Cleo Knight really is a brilliant chemist. Usually, invisible ink is just some nonsense with lemon juice, but she's almost perfected a new formula, with a secret ingredient she discovered herself. There will be invisible inkwells everywhere, she told me, just as soon as the formula is finished. People will go back to work. Stain'd-by-the-Sea will thrive again. The octopi will no longer be endangered. They could even put the sea back where it belongs, all because of Cleo Knight's formula. Can you imagine? Invisible ink that actually works.||”|
Cleo started dating Jake Hix, but her parents didn't approve of her dating someone so lower-class, so they kept their relationship secret. He was the only one who called her "Cleo," while everyone else just called her "Miss Knight."
She received a Dilemma car as a gift from her parents a few months before the events of When Did You See Her Last?, and she was known for wearing only black-and-white to honor the family Ink business. She also was noted to almost exclusively eat Schoenberg Cereal for breakfast, which Polly Partial said nobody else bought.
|“||I've got to get that formula finished. It's a puzzle, but I've got to solve it. Invisible ink that actually works could make Ink Inc. a successful company again. We could save this town from all the people who want to destroy us. I've got to do it myself.||”|
— Cleo Knight, When Did You See Her Last?
A few weeks before her capture, Cleo went to Black Cat Coffee to try to get the machine to make her tea to help her think. Ellington Feint convince her to try coffee, and they came up with a plan to help Cleo stay in Stain'd-by-the-Sea; Cleo would run away and continue her experiments in Handkerchief Heights, while Ellington would dress like her and go around town, talking about joining the circus to throw any investigators off the trail. Ellington gave Cleo a raspberry beret that matched her own, and Cleo helped Ellington bleach her hair. The only other person who knew the plan was Cleo's sweetheart, Jake Hix. Cleo tried to leave a note for her parents and Zada and Zora in her invisible ink, but it still wasn't working. She left another note, which was later destroyed by Flammarion.Cleo sent Ellington to Partial Foods to begin their plan, while she went for tea at Hungry's Diner and said goodbye to Jake. While she was gone, Flammarion pierced her tire with a needle, and when she couldn't get her Dilemma to move, he offered her a ride, only to kidnap her and take her to the Colophon Clinic, where he chained her in a cellar and forced her to continue her experiments so that the Inhumane Society could have her formula for their own uses. While there, she learned that they had plans to kidnap and imprison other children for their plans.
When Lemony Snicket and his associates break into the Clinic to look for her and fight Nurse Dander and Hangfire, Cleo convinces Dr. Flammarion to lend her a hairpin, which she uses to pick the lock on her chain. She confronts Flammarion as Snicket and Jake open the hatch to let her out, and she destroys the equipment she'd been forced to use. She brings Flammarion to the Officers Mitchum, and then uses her chemistry knowledge to treat Moxie Mallahan's wound. Cleo explains that she's going to stay in Handkerchief Heights and gather ingredients for her formula from Offshore Island, and then tells Snicket that she theorizies that the bel that rings to signal the town to don masks is only superstition.
Cleo is briefly mentioned in the incident "Ransom Note", as her Dilemma is being fixed up by Jackie, who requires Snicket's help in finding their dog. Her Dilemma is later taken for a joyride by Jackie's grandfather.
|“||Something's happening in this town. The people inside this Dilemma might be the only ones I trust anymore.||”|
— Cleo Knight, Shouldn't You Be in School?
Jake tells Cleo that Snicket is investigating suspicious fires, and soon after, a suspicious fire is set at Stain'd Secondary School. Cleo and Jake arrive to see that the Talkie Brothers, who make up the Official Fire Department, have accidentally made the blaze worse and they have to rescue them. Cleo discovers that the fire hydrants that connected to the hoses were sabotaged with a dangerous chemical, as she'd been using the same chemical in her formula experiments. After the fire, all students at the school were transferred to Wade Academy.Cleo, Jake and Moxie have breakfast at Hungry's, when Snicket arrives and asks about the fire. The group leaves with him, and Cleo drives them to the Department of Education, as Snicket thinks that Kellar Haines may be of help to them. When Snicket mentions that Kellar was talking about Italian, Cleo reveals that she konws some italian cooking terms, including that the Italian term for lime is Limetta, cluing Snicket in to the fact that the supposed witness to the barn fire- Harold Limetta- wasn't real, as Kellar had been trying to tell him "there were no Italian lime trees around." Sharon Haines had made up Harold Limetta in order to frame Dashiell Qwerty for arson.
As they enter the building, 350 Wayward Way, Moxie reveals that she couldn't find any information on the Department of Education, and that the Department of Education itself is fake, as Stain'd-by-the-Sea only had one school. Snicket pushes down a false wall, which holds a tape player that played false sounds of an office in order to fool Snicket and S. Theodora Markson. At that moment, a van appears from the Department of Truancy, another false organization, and Sharon Haines and Hangfire arrive in masks and kidnap Jake, Cleo and Moxie, as well as Kellar, who was hiding in the building.
The associates are taken to Wade Academy, where the students are all kept drugged with laudanum. Cleo finds something that she assumes is bark from nearby shrubs, which, when chewed on, fights the effects of the drug, and hands it out to the rest of her associates- Jake, Kellar and Ornette Lost, though there isn't enough to give to Moxie and Ellington fights the effects with coffee, which she shares with the others. Stew Mitchum is patrolling the school, and he tries to rip up Moxie's notes; Cleo stops him by kicking him in the shin. That night, Snicket sneaks into the school and they all meet in the library, where they discuss Hangfire's plan and Snicket reveals his involvement with VFD, a secret organization. He recruits the associates, and then asks them to go on the field trip planned for the next day to spy, telling them to meet at Hungry's as soon as they can slip away.The next morning, Jake, Cleo, Ornette and Moxie meetup with Snicket while masked and gathering for the field trip, and Snicket asks them to throw a wagon over a wall. He doesn't explain, instead saying they all have to work with a fragmentary plot, and while Ornette distracts Stew, they throw over the wagon before boarding the bus, and then Snicket asks them to empty the library of its blank books and throw them over the wall.
After the school bus stops at the loading dock for Partial Foods, where Sharon Haines orders the students to steal honeydew melons. Jake, Cleo and Moxie escape to Hungry's, where they meet up with Snicket, who was beaten by Stew Mitchum. Cleo treats his injuries, and he tells them that Hangfire is planning to burn down Dicey's Department Store, and to go there to stop him. They go, only to find out later that Snicket sent them as a distraction while he and Ellington kept Stew from burning the library.
Cleo later meets with her associates and Josephine at Handkerchief Heights, where they have a dinner and discuss their next move against Hangfire. They decide to make sure they're not seen together in order to keep Hangfire from figuring out their fragmentary plots, and then they play a game of Beethoven.
|“||I thought we were going to have to pull some crazy stunt to get on board The Thistle of the Valley. I wanted to leap onto the train and use the railings to climb aboard, but Jake said it was too dangerous.||”|
— Cleo Knight, Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
When Snicket returns, the associates have been joined by Ornette Lost, and he explains that Stew was Qwerty's murderer. Cleo then tells Snicket that she and Jake have been investigating the "bark" that they'd used at Wade Academy, as they'd realized it wasn't bark, and was instead some mysterious substance that they later realize is the shedded skin of the Bombinating Beast. Stew arrives to escort Snicket to his meeting with Hangfire, and Cleo and Jake go to fetch the authorities. Cleo and her associates later witness Hangfire summon the Bombinating Beast, and watch Snicket feed the villain to the monster.
After the train crashes, the passengers exit, and Cleo helps Snicket and her associates explain everything to them. Snicket says that he believes she'll be able to rescue Stain'd-by-the-Sea from ruin with her formula, and that she and Jake were lucky to have found each other. Before he leaves, he sees her sketching something on a scrap of paper while Walleye, Pocket and Eratosthenes watch. She waves goodbye to him as he leaves the town and goes into the Clusterous Forest.
Physical AppearanceCleo is described as having platinum blonde hair, and glasses that make her eyes look small.
As with the rest of her family, she is known as only wearing black and white to honor the ink industry; the only article of clothing she had that was not black or white was the raspberry beret that Ellington Feint gave her during their plan to disguise Ellington as her.
While her exact age is not known, she is described as several years older than Lemony Snicket, and she is old enough at the time of the books to get her drivers' liscence.
- Cleo is afraid of heights.
- Cleo learned Italian cooking terms from Zada and Zora.
- According to her official profile, her favorite book is West with the Night by Beryl Markham.
|Ignatius Knight||Doretta Knight|
|A Series of Unfortunate Events (Books)|
|1. The Bad Beginning (1999):||Absent||7. The Vile Village (2001):||Absent|
|2. The Reptile Room (1999):||Absent||8. The Hostile Hospital (2001):||Absent|
|3. The Wide Window (2000):||Absent||9. The Carnivorous Carnival (2002):||Absent|
|4. The Miserable Mill (2000):||Absent||10. The Slippery Slope (2003):||Absent|
|5. The Austere Academy (2000):||Absent||11. The Grim Grotto (2004):||Absent|
|6. The Ersatz Elevator (2001):||Absent||12. The Penultimate Peril (2005):||Absent|
|13. The End (2006):||Absent|
|All the Wrong Questions|
|Who Could That Be at This Hour? (2012):||Absent||Shouldn't You Be in School? (2014):||Appears|
|When Did You See Her Last? (2013):||Debut||Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? (2015):||Appears|
|File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (2014):||Mentioned|
|Other Snicket Books|
|Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (2002):||Absent|
|The Dismal Dinner (2004):||Absent|
|The Beatrice Letters (2006):||Absent|
|The Hero of the Story (2017):||Absent|
- When Did You See Her Last?
- Shouldn't You Be in School?
- Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
- File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (mentioned)