Things were too good to be true when it came to Uncle Monty. Monty was smart, interested in the children and wanted to share his work with them. And it's a shame he wound up dead. Now before you start ranting and raving, one of the things I love most about these books is that from the off Snicket tells you things aren't going to be plain sailing with their newest guardian. Snicket warns us that Monty is doomed, but for a short while the Baudelaire children experience a small amount of joy since their parents death.
This book seemed almost more grown up, Olaf's threat of violence towards the children seems more sinister, with him brandishing a knife at them. Not only this but the circumstances of Montys death. Olaf made it looked like an accident, and the Baudelaire's have to prove it wasn't that. I almost want to say a sophisticated murder. It's the type of idea you would see in a crime show, as I said in my review of The Bad Beginning Snicket isn't shying away from the grim subject matter and doesn't talk down to the reader. I love that face he didn't write a 'simple' murder and by doing this he shows the reader just how smart the children are.
Once again Olaf escapes with the help of one of his associates and the Baudelaires fate is left in the hands of the less then helpful Mr Poe.