|“||I'm sorry to disturb you, but you're the closest neighbor and I need some help.||”|
— Oliver Sobol, File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
Oliver Sobol is the son of two veterinarians, who left town but allowed him to remain in Stain'd-by-the-Sea for a few months to run the Sobol Office until they come fetch him. His nearest neighbor, Moxie Mallahan, plays Parcheesi with him.
His family has the only Amaranthine Newt in captivity, which he keeps in a special tank in his examining room. He was to bring the newt with him when his parents finally called for him, so his father could use it for his new job at Amphibians-A-Go-Go, an aquatic animal center and amusement park; his father already took its eggs with him.
Pinched Creature/Dishonest Salesman
Oliver does a checkup on a regular visitor, Polly Partial's cat Paperbag, who has a narcissistic disorder. After Oliver treats the cat and walks them out, he tends to the zinnias in the backyard of the office. When he goes back inside, he finds the Amaranthine Newt missing. As someone who wanted to pinch the creature would have had to have a similar tank to his, which could only be carried in a car, which Oliver would have heard from the backyard, he suspects that Polly Partial may have stolen the creature, though he's not sure how or why.
In distress, Oliver goes to Moxie and meets her associate, Lemony Snicket. He explains his dilemma and Snicket asks if they can walk over to the Sobol Office. As they reach the building, they find a car with a flat tire.
The driver explains he has a flat, and tells them he is a passing doorknob salesman, and that he should walk over to the garage, as he doesn't have anything valuable in his car. Oliver and Moxie ask if the man has seen a suspicious person or a missing newt, and he responds that he saw a woman drive away in a grocery van, and that he hadn't seen a lizard, but they could look in a patch of zinnias, which it might blend into. Snicket then asks the man to open his trunk, so they can see the newt tank he has hidden there; the "doorknob salesman" had somehow guessed that the Amaranthine Newt would blend into a patch of yellow zinnias, while most would assume the newt was purple, due to its name. After being caught, the thief returned the newt to Oliver.
Oliver is described as several years younger than Lemony Snicket. He wears a white coat and two pairs of glasses, as there's no nearby optometrist to prescribe him bifocals.
- His surname may be a reference to Donald J. Sobol, an American author known for writing the Encyclopedia Brown series.
|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):||Absent|
|When Did You See Her Last? (2013):||Absent||Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? (2015):||Absent|
|File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (2014):||Debut|
|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|