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File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents was published on April 1st, 2014, and is a companion book to the All the Wrong Questions series.

Sometimes called book #2.5, it is set between the second book, When Did You See Her Last?, and the third book, Shouldn't You Be in School?

It consists of thirteen mini-mysteries that Lemony Snicket solves while staying in Stain'd-by-the-Sea. The mysteries are self-contained and mostly do not relate to the main plot of Hangfire, so 13 Suspicious Incidents is an optional read which is not necessary, but enhances the world of All the Wrong Questions and Stain'd-by-the-Sea.


Paintings have been falling off of walls, a loud and loyal dog has gone missing, a specter has been seen walking the pier at midnight -- strange things are happening all over the town of Stain'd-By-The-Sea. Called upon to investigate thirteen suspicious incidents, young Lemony Snicket collects clues, questions witnesses, and cracks every case. Join the investigation and tackle the mysteries alongside Snicket, then turn to the back of the book to see the solution revealed.

Step into Lemony Snicket's world of deep mystery, mysterious depth, deductive reasoning, and reasonable deductions.

Table of Contents

The book is divided into two sub-files: sub-file One (1) containing the 13 reports and sub-file B (b) containing the 13 conclusions.

Not mentioned in the book introduction are the 13 additional conclusions contained in sub-file B. These additional conclusions are excluded from the ebook and audiobook.

Sub-file One Sub-file B
Report Conclusion Alternate
Inside Job. Black Paint. Deep Mine.
Pinched Creature. Dishonest Salesman. Backseat.
Ransom Note. Loud Dog. Quiet Street.
Walkie-Talkie. Through the Window. Beneath the Street.
Bad Gang. Homemade Furniture. Small Courtyard.
Silver Spoon. Twenty-Five Guests. Missing Pets.
Violent Butcher. Small Sound. Large Meal.
Twelve or Thirteen. Chalked Name. Other Name.
Midnight Demon. Panicked Feet. Sand and Shore.
Three Suspects. Very Obvious. Poor Joke.
Vanished Message. Message Received. Message Recorded.
Troublesome Ghost. Train Wreck. Nervous Wreck.
Figure in Fog. Shouted Word. Last Word.


1. Inside Job / Black Paint

"Inside Job."

Snicket is arguing with his chaperone, S. Theodora Markson, who chides him for saying "secret organization" aloud and demands he hand her napkins- which he cannot do, as they have none. Due to the argument, Theodora burns the toast she was preparing for breakfast. Prosper Lost arrives and announces there is someone waiting in the lobby for Snicket, and Theodora tells him to be quick, as he has to go buy napkins.

Snicket is met by a minor and a miner, Marguerite Gracq, and she explains the case she has for him on the way to her house; her family owns the only mine in town, which her father believes no longer contains gold. He left her in town under the care of Dagmar while he looked for another living place, though Marguerite would still go into the mines during the day. However, after Dagmar arrived, the paintings in the Gracq house would fall, much too neatly to be accident. She believes that Dagmar is after something, but she doesn't know if it is the Gracq gold; her father would take the gold into his workshop, melt it down, and then hide it someplace. Marguerite held the only workshop key.

The two children arrive at Marguerite's small house, and Marguerite simply informs Dagmar that she is making her friend a poached egg before taking Snicket to the living room, showing him the portraits of Finnish poets that had once belonged to her mother. She mentions that she will hang them back up herself with hammers and nails from the workshop, but she keeps the door locked when she's working, so Dagmar would be unable to sneak in. Snicket then asks about the nails, which Marguerite says are her father's, and curve slightly. Snicket then tells her that he is going upstairs to confront Dagmar for her thievery and tell her to turn off her polka music.

Over a late breakfast of fluffy eggs, while Dagmar is arrested, Snicket reveals that Dagmar was removing the paintings in order to steal the nails which held the paintings up, as the nails were made of gold and painted black to disguise them.

2. Pinched Creature / Dishonest Salesman

"Pinched Creature."

While Snicket is spending an uneventful afternoon with Moxie Mallahan, her neighbor Oliver Sobol arrives in distress. Moxie explains that Oliver's parents ran the nearby veterinary office, and Oliver says that they left town and he is still running the shop until they send for him. He also explains his dilemma- he has lost a newt, from the very rare Amaranthine species. Despite its name, it is bright yellow and left-handed, and prized by herpetologists and southpaws. His father took its purple eggs with him to his new job, and Oliver is supposed to bring the newt to him, but if he can't bring it, his father may lose his job.

Oliver informs them that he believes the newt to have been stolen, as it lives in a special tank that it wouldn't have been able to open. His only patient for the day was Polly Partial's cat Paperbag, and though he doesn't believe Polly would steal the newt, she is his prime suspect, as after he escorted them outside he went to the backyard to water the zinnias that match the office's trim, and went inside to find the newt gone. A thief would need a similar tank that would need to be transported by car in order to contain the newt, and Oliver heard no other vehicles approach, so Partial remains his main suspect.

The children head over to the Sobol Office, and near the yellow-and-orange building, they find a man with a broken down car. He claims to be a doorknob salesman, and Oliver and Moxie question him about a lost Amaranthine Newt. The man only says he saw a grocery wagon pass, but perhaps the newt could have blended in with the nearby zinnias. Snicket peers into the car, and then tells the "salesman" to open the trunk and give them back the newt.

As the newt was called Amaranthine, a word that means purple, the salesman would have no idea it would be able to blend into the yellow-and-orange zinnias unless he was a herpetologist or southpaw with prior knowledge of the species. The thief returns the newt after being confronted.

3. Ransom Note / Loud Dog

"Ransom Note."

Pip and Squeak Bellerophon take Snicket to solve a case for their mechanic at Moray Wheels. Inside, Snicket is greeted by Jackie, who is fixing up Cleo Knight's Dilemma and has a dilemma themself. They inform Snicket that the night before, their loud watchdog Lysistrata went missing, and they found a ransom note on the Dilemma's windshield, reading:

If you ever want to see your dog alive again, bring a complete set of Dugga Drills to 1300 Blotted Boulevard at midnight tonight. Be sensible. Come alone.
Yours sincerely,
The Person Who Kidnapped Your Dog

Jackie explains that their expensive set of drills is valuable, but they would be willing to trade them for their dog, though they cannot figure out how Lysistrata disappeared so quietly and they cannot hear her barking anywhere. Snicket agrees to go with them that night to catch the kidnapper red-handed. The children are then told to leave by Jackie's Grandfather, a former racecar driver with delusions of grandeur and a job at the bowling alley that causes his ears to ring.

Snicket meets Jackie outside around 11:00, and they take them to Blotted Boulevard in a motorcycle. Snicket hides while Jackie waits for the ransomer, who never shows. However, Snicket figures out what is going on and tells Jackie that their dog will soon be returned to them.

They find Jackie's grandfather driving the Dilemma with Lysistrata; he had been so desperate to drive the fancy car that he took the dog to stash away at the bowling alley to get Jackie out of the garage.

4. Walkie-Talkie / Through the Window


Jake Hix serves breakfast to Snicket, another customer, and Stew Mitchum; however, he cuts off Stew at four chocolate muffins, and Stew angrily leaves to use the bathroom. The other customer also departs, and Snicket and Jake find a walkie-talkie underneath the counter. On the other end, someone is calling for help from "George."

Snicket and Jake take the walkie-talkie outside to try and track down the other customer, in case he is George, while Snicket talks to the recipient, apparently a spy, and puzzles over the label on the radio: OFF-SBTS-USE. They find the other customer, who turns out to be named Leroy. As they return, Snicket realizes what is going on and enters the diner, to find Stew stealing a fourth muffin.

Stew had taken walkie-talkies from his parents; the label stood for Official Stain'd-by-the-Sea Use. He used it to draw the others away so he could steal food. Jake next made a batch of pecan muffins, to be given to Snicket for free and to not be given to Stew under any circumstances.

5. Bad Gang / Homemade Furniture

Thursday: S. Theodora Markson decides to leave town to visit her sister, and though she is not supposed to leave her apprentice alone, she does so anyway. She tells him that if she behaves she will bring him a teacup before departing, and an excited Snicket goes to spend the day at the library.

"Bad Gang."

Friday: Snicket takes a walk through Stain'd-by-the-Sea and encounters Officers Harvey and Mimi Mitchum, arguing in front of a store called Boards, which has a broken window. Snicket interrupts them, and they inform him that the shop was vandalized by the Big Bad Brick Gang, an anonymous group of vandals and malcontents. The shop owner, Bob Old, calls his son Kevin out to explain the group to Snicket, mentioning that Kevin keeps asking for a sword to defend themselves with, like the ones in his pirate books, though Bob thinks the idea is inane. He explains that a board has been stolen from their window, and the Mitchums show Snicket a note from the Big Bad Brick Gang left behind. The Mitchums continue to argue, so Snicket leaves and spends the rest of the day playing a dice game with Moxie.

Saturday: Snicket has breakfast at Hungry's, but leaves early upon hearing another store has been vandalized. He again meets the Mitchums in front of Swords, owned by Muriel Distinguished. A display sword had been stolen, and a note was left by the Big Bad Brick Gang claiming responsibility and also adding that they can be referred to as the BBBG to save time. Snicket hypothesizes that the BBBG are striking swords that rhyme, and asks Muriel about other stores with similar names. The Mitchums, however, decline Snicket's help, as they have Stew with them to assist.

Sunday: Snicket has the Bellerophon brothers drive him to the rhyming stores, but ends up finding the vandalism had occurred at Chrysanthemums. He gets out and talks to the owner, Delphinium Smith, to see if anything was stolen. She calls her daughter, Florence, as she had been checking for such a thing. Florence arrives, confessing she'd been distracted by her book (likely Captain Blood). While she and Snicket bond over the story, Delphinium snidely remarks that she dislikes literature, and Florence is only allowed a bookshelf if she builds it herself. Snicket then informs her and the Mitchums that he has solved the case of the BBBG, and that they will not strike again, though perhaps they will clean up the broken windows and explain themselves. However, he does not turn them over to the police, and instead returns to The Lost Arms, where he tells Theodora nothing and she gives him a teacup, which he leaves somewhere to step on later.

The BBBG were Kevin Old and Florence Smith, who planned to steal wood for Florence's bookshelf and a sword for Kevin without being caught. They broke the window of Chrysanthemums as well to throw the police off their trail.

6. Silver Spoon / Twenty-Five Guests

"Silver Spoon."

Snicket is reading a book he dislikes in the library as it closes. Dashiell Qwerty requests his assistance on behalf of some library patrons, and as Snicket has nothing better to do, he follows Qwerty down the street to a group of drifters who have taken up camp in town, and whom Qwerty reads to. They sit down and have soup while one of the drifters, Randall, explains his story.

His only possession left from his life before becoming a driver is an engraved silver spoon. A few days before, he was window-washing alone when he was approached by local aristocrat Smogface Wiley, who offered him multiple items in exchange for the spoon before Randall refused him. A few days following that, the drifters returned to camp to see their one-eared guard dog, Ashberry barking like crazy, a smoking cigarillo left by the fire, and the spoon gone. Randall went to confront Wiley, but was thrown out by his ear by a servant. Snicket agrees to help his case.

The next day, Snicket goes to the Wiley Mansion, saying he is visiting from the city. He meets with Smogface, who is preparing for a dinner party with twenty-five guests- he mentions that until recently, he couldn't have that many. Snicket questions him about where he was the day before and about his interactions with Randall, but Smogface claims that he doesn't care about "window washers with one-eared dogs." Snicket then announces that Smogface is a liar and a thief and demands he return the spoon.

Smogface was collecting silverware anagrammed for his guests- one for each letter of the alphabet. He would have had no idea about Ashberry having one ear unless he had visited the camp. Smogface returns the spoon, and then has Lemony thrown out by the ear.

7. Violent Butcher / Small Sound

"Violent Butcher."

Snicket goes to Black Cat Coffee to see if he can find Ellington Feint, but he instead encounters Mack, a freelance butcher, waiting outside. Mack explains that he is waiting for his son, Drumstick, who his hiding inside. Drumstick was attempting to run away from his abusive father to live in the city with his mother, but Mack chased him into Black Cat Coffee.

Mack makes Snicket enter the shop with him in order to corner Drumstick. Snicket hesitantly enters and tries to get Mack to leave without getting himself hurt. He first looks over the counter, seeing a spilled trash can, and then suggests Mack look in the piano and check the back door. Mack finds the Attic button and goes up, assuming his son is up there. After hearing a noise, however, Snicket shuts the button to trap Mack.

Drumstick was hiding in the trash can, and the noise was his amplified breathing. The thankful boy then runs towards the train station in hopes to escape, and Snicket believes he has a good head start.

8. Twelve or Thirteen / Chalked Name

"Twelve or Thirteen."

Moxie visits Snicket with a newspaper article she finds funny. It describes the formerly-annual Ethan Frome sled race, which would begin with an auction and end with the race winner winning a fountain pen from Ink Inc. The article described the race as having twelve sledders, but Moxie counted thirteen in the picture.

That particular race is significant, as the winner, Chase B. Willow, was arrested that night for stealing a painting of Gary Dorian. While he professed his innocence, the painting was found in his home. After his arrest, his wife divorced him and moved in with a lawn mower technician, and he was sent to jail in the city.

Snicket goes with Moxie to the lighthouse archives to look at photographs from the race, and after looking through a few, inquires about Mrs. Willow. He and Moxie eventually conclude that she was the thirteenth sledder, as one of the photos shows her holding an unmarked sled, and that she stole the painting to frame and divorce her husband. They contact the city police, only to find out that Willow had already escaped prison with a skeleton key.

9. Midnight Demon / Panicked Feet

"Midnight Demon."

Snicket is called to a case at Cozy's, a rocking chair store. He meets with the owner, Thomasina Cozy, and her twin children, Tatiana and Treacle. She explains that business is poor and she has arranged for Tatiana to marry Baron von Pendle, the nephew of the inventor of the swingset, so that the twins will remain financially secure. Though Tatiana opposes the marriage due to not having much in common with the Baron, her mother ignores her, and explains to Snicket that she believes that a demon is trying to ruin the marriage.

Every night for the last few days, the insomniac Baron has seen a figure that looks like Tatiana walking the pier, and he fears that she is also an insomniac and thus would not want to marry her. Snicket agrees to investigate if Tatiana goes with him that night to spy on the figure. He and Tatiana leave about a half-hour early, with Treacle sitting and reading beside their fluffy dog, Tabitha, and Thomasina seeing them off.

As they walk, Snicket accuses Tatiana of walking down the pier to ruin the marriage, which she denies, though she admits she wishes her mother would let her and Treacle run the business. They reach the pier, and see a figure that does appear to be Tatiana; she panics and runs, falling down on the street. Snicket catches up to her and suggests that the figure is her brother, though she reminds him that he is at home. They return to the shop to find Treacle, indeed, reading there, but after Snicket calls their dog to him, their ruse is revealed.

Treacle had run back and stuffed the wig he used to pretend to be his sister underneath the dog, but when the dog got up, Snicket saw it. They have tea and the twins agree to have a discussion with their mother and the Baron about calling off the marriage instead of using tricks- though Treacle believes the trick was more fun.

10. Three Suspects / Very Obvious

"Three Suspects."

As Snicket is leaving the library, he encounters Harvey Mitchum, who is waiting for Stew to help them solve a case. After Harvey and Mimi argue for some time, Snicket agrees to help the case. Mimi and Harvey are having trouble solving it, as they stayed up late the night before. He enters and Mimi explains that Polly Partial reported twenty blueberry pies missing, and had seen a french horn van and a man loading pies into it who wore a coat that matched the uniform of the french horn factory.

They have arrested three suspects, and Snicket looks over each one; the first is wearing the red coat, but has an alibi of taking a shipment of french horns to the Devotee Symphony on the night in question. The second had been at the factory all day, polishing the horns. The third is wearing a shirt stained with blueberries and doesn't answer much.

Snicket concludes that the third brother is the culprit, obviously, and that Harvey and Mimi should have gotten more sleep.

11. Vanished Message / Message Received

"Vanished Message."

Theodora is once again arguing with Snicket over breakfast when a letter arrives for him, to be read only by him. Snicket sneaks it away from Theodora and hides in the bathroom, where he reads the letter:

Dear Mr. Snicket,
I have heard of your noble work and write to ask you a favor. I was recently in your town studying the Yamgraz. One afternoon I needed a break, so I took a walk to the Swinster Pharmacy and sat at the counter, enjoying a tangerine soda and writing postcards to various acquaintances in the city. Most of the messages I wrote were just friendly greetings, but on one postcard I wrote a very important message. My plan was to mail them at Stain'd Station, before I caught my train home. But when I went to mail them, my important message was gone. I believe I left it at the soda counter, but the pharmacy hasn't answered the phone, although I called either two or three times. Mr. Snicket, I implore you to help by finding this postcard and mailing it to the recipient. "Implore" means "beg," by the way. Because of the importance of the message, I ask you to look only at the picture side, which shows Blotto the Octopus, a character from a comic strip that I understand used to run in the newspaper. It's very important. I mean this sincerely.
Lois Dressing

Snicket heads to the Swinster Pharmacy, where he meets the tall pharmacist who doesn't know anything about the message, and only remembers that Dressing was reading a book with a "virus" on the cover. Snicket eaves and spots a street sign for Yamgraz Drive, and then heads to the library.

He fails to find Yamgraz in the dictionary and asks Qwerty about it, which excites the librarian. He takes him to the town history section, explaining that the Yamgraz were the indigenous people of the area, who were oyster farmers and were driven off by colonists. Snicket finds the book that Dressing had borrowed, with an oyster on the cover that looked like a virus.

The postcard was in the book, having fallen in when Dressing returned it. Snicket, against request, reads the back:

Dear Headquarters,
If you are reading this postcard it means Mr. Snicket has passed the test and is therefore progressing nicely as an apprentice in our organization. Please note the dated postmark for our records and make a note in the Snicket file.
With all due respect,

12. Troublesome Ghost / Train Wreck

"Troublesome Ghost."

On a heavy and dreary day, Snicket goes to Hungry's for breakfast, and while Jake prepares it, he asks if Snicket wants to hear a ghost story, and introduces him to Hans Mann. Hans had formerly been a stagehand at the Stain'd Playhouse, and they had built several grand sets, such as wires for Dame Sally Murphy, and a train that he and Billy Becker could break apart. However, the playhouse closed, Billy Becker lives in the Anchovy District catching rats, and Hans has been working in the city at a staple gun factory. He returned to town to fetch his mother, Old Lady Mann, the former ticketseller, who believed her deceased husband was haunting her.

For several nights, similar things happened to Old Lady Mann; she would be awoken by noises in the house, but after searching would find nothing, and return to her room to hear noises under her bed. The next morning, when she returned, she would find trunks open and clothes strewn about. The night before Hans arrived in town, she believed she saw her husband floating outside her window, and Hans is here to take her to the city to work as a receptionist. Snicket, however, quickly deduces what is happening and takes them to the Mann Mansion.

Billy Becker, tired of living in a shack, used former stage props and costumes to try to scare Old Lady Mann out of town so he could live in the Mann Mansion. Old Lady Mann takes pity on her former coworker, and invites him to live with her in the mansion.

13. Figure in Fog / Shouted Word

"Figure in Fog."

Snicket is reading a book in the library, but gets tired and decides to leave. He encounters Qwerty, and questions him about the fog outside, as there is no water around to cause it. He mentions it is a suspicious incident, and Qwerty informs him that to the town, Snicket himself is a suspicious incident.

Outside, Snicket spots a figure in the fog and starts following it, speculating it may be Ellington Feint. As he goes through town, he thinks of the incidents he has encountered recently and the mysteries still surrounding them, leading him to call Ellington's name out loud. Suddenly realizing he's lost sight of the figure, he hears a shouted word and follows it into the night.

The word, and end of this story, are unknown.

Alternate Conclusions

While excluded from the ebook and audiobook editions, the original printed copy of File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents contains twice as many conclusions as there are suspicious incidents. While there are theories as to why this is, the facts are that the stories behind these conclusions are unknown, and the mysteries must be pieced together from context clues, which is impossible for some.

The conclusions, however, often have something, even if something relatively small, to do with the previous incident, and the header images reflect this, as all are zoomed-in copies of parts of the previous incident's illustration; for instance, the header for "Deep Mine" is simply a picture of the Gracq mine from the "Inside Job" illustration.

The conclusions without incidents, as found in Sub-File B, are as follows:

  • "Deep Mine" Header.

    Deep Mine:
    What Dagwood failed to realize was that the mysterious sound from the mine continued even after the electric equipment was turned off. Therefore the buzzing was of natural origin and the spare batteries would have been useless. As with many suspicious incidents, the solution was to keep digging, which is why the shovels and notebooks were found by museum authorities the next morning.
    • Connections to Inside Job: "Dagwood" has a similar name to Dagmar, and the reference to a deep mine and digging seems to refer to the Gracq mine.
    • The "natural origin" of the noise is revealed in the conclusion "Beneath the Street." (see below)
    • The note of shovels and notebooks being found by museum authorities is interesting, as it was shortly before the events of this book that Kit Snicket was arrested for breaking into the Museum of Items.[1]
  • "Backseat" Header.

    Backseat: The inside of a car would not have been warm enough to hatch reptile or amphibian eggs. As veterinarians, the Doctors Sobol would have known this, and would have smuggled the eggs in their coat pockets, which were likely lined with fur, or scaly skin. But Bertram found the coats hanging on the track near the drafty window, so therefore it was the heated suitcase, stored near the stove, that contained the stolen items, which were returned immediately.
    Many have described the taste of root beer, but that afternoon it tasted like justice.
    • Connections to Pinched Creature: Oliver's parents, the Doctors Sobol are mentioned, as are the reptiles and amphibian eggs they care for at Amphibians-A-Go-Go. It seems that the eggs were stolen and then returned.
    • This stove may have been heating the house from the basement mentioned in "Beneath The Street".
    • "Bertram" has a similar first name to Bertrand Baudelaire, S. Theodora Markson's former apprentice.
    • Snicket's favorite drink, root beer, is mentioned.
    • This is the apparent conclusion of the Sub-File B fragmentary plot, as Snicket receives both "justice served and a root beer float" he had mentioned wanting to Harvey Mitchum in "Three Suspects."
  • "Quiet Street" Header.

    Quiet Street:
    Blotted Boulevard is a perfect place for a shadowy meeting by sinister cohorts working in secrecy, but so many organizations were using it that a sign-up sheet became necessary to reduce the chances of confusion, embarrassment, and duels. Violetta Frogg-Drifter turned out to be a fake name used only on such paperwork.
    • Connections to Ransom Note: Blotted Boulevard is mentioned.
    • VFD seems to have met in Blotted Boulevard, as Violetta Frogg-Drifter's initials spell out the organization's name.
  • "Beneath the Street" Header.

    Beneath the Street:
    "Drain-Leads-to-Sea" is a phrase which here means "a passageway ideal for small lizards and amphibians to travel to the Clusterous Forest." The noises in the echoey passageway would have carried to other underground structures, such as basements and mines.
    • Connections to Walkie-Talkie: "Drain-Leads-to-Sea" is spotted by Lemony while walking down the street with Jake.
    • The lizards and amphibians causing noise is mentioned in "Deep Mine."
  • "Small Courtyard" Header.

    Small Courtyard:
    The key was in the cobblestones. If they could be pushed aside by the growth of small plants, they likely wouldn't hold up against violent animal life when used in the construction of clinics and schools. Both Dagwood and Violetta would have known this from their father, a geologist and former travel agent who lived in the same neighborhood.
    • Dagwood and Violetta, mentioned in "Deep Mine" and "Quiet Street," are revealed to be siblings (or at least half-siblings), and their father is a geologist and former travel agent, who knows something about building materials that can hold up against violent animal life.
    • Dagwood and Violetta may be codenames for Dagmar and Oliver with which they share similar spellings.
    • Interesting to note that the material unable to hold up against violent animal life are clinics and schools. Since these are the previous and future sites respectively of Hangfire's meddling, it's also possible the Inhumane Society itself is the "violent animal life" that invades these cobblestone institutes.
    • The "key" in the cobblestones may be one of the literal keys that Mrs. Flammarion returns in "Missing Pets".
  • "Missing Pets" Header.

    Missing Pets:
    Armadale's lizards were transported in a large tank originally designed for amphibians, large enough to hold the reptiles comfortably but small enough to fit into the trunk of a car. When confronted, Mrs. Flammarion admitted as much and returned the keys and wig.
    • Connections to Silver Spoon: Armadale and his lizards are mentioned. The animals seemed to have been captured and returned.
    • A Mrs. Flammarion is mentioned, possibly connected to Dr. Flammarion. The fact that "she" returns a wig may mean it's the doctor himself, having escaped the Mitchums' jail like Ellington had in When Did You See Her Last?.
  • "Large Meal" Header.

    Large Meal:
    "A simple sauce of unsalted butter' was flatly impossible, as any good butcher knows that preparing the meat of lizards and amphibians requires a great deal of salt, easily gathered from land that was once the ocean floor. Local diners expressed relief and gratitude, and the stew has never been advertised again.
    • Connections to Violent Butcher: The butcher business is mentioned.
    • Lizards and amphibians are mentioned again; it seems they are being used to make food, perhaps implying why they were fleeing in "Beneath the Street" and why they were being captured in "Pinched Creature," "Backseat," and "Missing Pets."
  • "Other Name" Header.

    Other Name:
    The reverse side of the newspaper had an article on party refreshments, including The Salty Mess, a recipe containing caviar, salted meat, and six slices of honeydew melon arranged into two initials. If the paper had been truly folded in half, the villain would have been warned either way.
    • Connections to Twelve or Thirteen: The newspaper is mentioned.
    • The Inhumane Society seems connected to this incident, as caviar, honeydew melon, and the salted meat (perhaps from "Large Meal") are arranged into two initials- presumably IS. Caviar[1] and honeydew melons[2] are both connected to the society in the rest of the series.
    • Between the lizards escaping underground to the salty Clusterous Forest, the "rind of a melon someone had tossed into the gutter" in "Walkie Talkie", and the caviar Snicket steps in at the conclusion of When Did You See Her Last?, the streets of Stain'd-by-the-Sea are effectively a Salty Mess.
  • "Sand and Shore" Header.

    Sand and Shore:
    "What once was desert is water," the slogan said, but it did not mention what happened to what once was water. Three forgotten ships would have had more than enough rope on board to tow anything- or anyone- that heavy.
    • Connections to Midnight Demon: The dry pier seems mentioned.
    • The Clusterous Forest "once was water."
    • The rope in question could have towed Mrs Flammarion and her vehicle if, like the doorknob salesman in Pinched Creature, she encountered car trouble as she tried to steal valuable creatures.
  • "Poor Joke" Header.

    Poor Joke:
    "Because blueberries are yummy," explained the young rabbi, and the entire congregation laughed and coughed nearly until sunrise.
    • Much like "Three Suspects", this seems to be a simple conclusion to a joke.
  • "Message Recorded" Header.

    Message Recorded:
Minutes from meeting at Stain'd Station:
T: Good afternoon.
Q: Good afternoon.
T: Did you bring the castanets?
Q: What?
T: Are they in your hat? Give it to me.
Q: What are you talking about? Leave my hat alone!
T: Wait, are you in a secret organization?
Q: Of course not.
T: My apologies. I thought you were someone else.
Q [?]: Who?
T: Nothing. Excuse me. Pardon me. Good-bye.
    • Connections to Vanished Message: This seems to be a recorded message from an interrupted VFD meeting, as Snicket's message in "Vanished Message" was from a Volunteer.
    • "T" and 'Q" are speculated to be Theodora Markson and someone she mistook for Dashiell Qwerty. Qwerty doesn't wear a hat, but Markson wouldn't reliably know this.
  • "Nervous Wreck" Header.

    Nervous Wreck:
    In some instances, eliminating every other word from a speech in a play results in a secret message, as in this scene from Mother of Icarus:
Naucrate: There she is, offering nothing more to Icarus's report card at school. This terrible time must stop! I'm looking desperately for something- a brilliant message, perhaps!
    • Connections to Troublesome Ghost: As "Troublesome Ghost" has much to do with the theater, this segment is from a play's script.
    • Naucrate is the name of Icarus's mother in Greek Mythology.
    • The play's title may be a reference to the one-act 1965 play Icarus's Mother.
  • "Last Word" Header.

    Last Word:
    "_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _."
    • Speculated to be the word spoken at the end of "Figure in Fog."
    • Snicket may be hearing his own echo, in which case the nine letter word would be "Ellington."





Mentioned in alternate conclusions (which are not included in the ebook and audiobook):

Book References

Snicket and his associates reference several books, though usually not by name. They are supposed to be:

  • The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald: In "Walkie-Talkie", Jake mentions a book Snicket recommended to him about "a clever kid in Utah."
  • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe: In "Bad Gang", Harvey and Mimi Mitchum argue over whether or not the narrator of a book actually heard a heart beat in his room.
  • Unknown: In "Bad Gang", Harvey and Mimi argue over a book that involves a woman changing her mind about her mother's old suitor because of a dead bird.
  • Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini: In "Bad Gang", the book that Kevin shares with Florence is Captain Blood, as Florence describes the plot point where Peter escapes from Barbados and decides to be a buccaneer.
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: In "Silver Spoon", Lemony is reading a book in the library which begins with a man carrying around a drawing of a snake that had just eaten and asking people what they thought of it.
  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: In "Silver Spoon", Snicket mentions a book Qwerty has recommended him about a woman who falls asleep and kills a horse.
  • Howards End by E.M. Forester: In "Silver Spoon", Qwerty was reading to the drifters a book where a bookcase falls on a man.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: In "Midnight Demon", Treacle is reading a book that "was just spoiled by the arrival of Santa Claus."
  • Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: In "Figure in Fog", Snicket mentions a book that begins with a brute attacking a little girl, and then offering her family a large sum of money.


Promotional Material



Animated Cover