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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Misery loves company. If you doubt the truth behind this aphorism, just delve into Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which follows the hair-raising adventures of the unlucky Baudelaire orphans. In the seventh book in this series, The Vile Village, the beleaguered Baudelaires are branded as murderers, as they strive to survive and rescue their kidnapped friends, the two surviving Quagmire triplets.
After crossing miles of flat, desolate land, the Baudelaires end up in a village that is led by a tribal council of elders and governed by thousands of crows, who fly back and forth from one end of the town to the other. Forced to perform all the village chores, the children soon come across evidence that their friends, the Quagmires, are being hidden somewhere in town. Violet's inventing skills and Klaus's recall of all he has read will be put to their greatest tests yet, as they solve the puzzles hidden in a series of mysterious communications from the Quagmires. And little Sunny, whose vocabulary is growing along with the sharpness of her teeth, plays a more pivotal role than ever before.
The village becomes even more ominous when the children learn of its bazillion rules -- the breaking of any of which is punished by being burned at the stake. When a man believed to be Olaf is found murdered, the Baudelaire children are fingered for the crime and imprisoned. When Count Olaf appears in yet another of his adult-fooling disguises and informs the children that he has come to realize he only needs one of them alive to carry out his plans for stealing their family fortune, the future looks grim indeed. The children must use their wits and God-given talents to escape, and given what we know about their abominable luck, it's a given that getting out of one scrape merely means getting into another. Lucky for us that the Baudelaires are so unlucky. (Beth Amos)