Take three little orphaned children, one nasty distant relative, a huge inherence fortune and the mind of a great author and what do you get? Lemony Snickets Series of Unfortunate Events first book called The Bad Beginning.
A stern warning on the very first page of this book gives you an insight as to how dark and gloomy this story is. The three children are happily playing on the beach at the beginning of the story. At 14, Violet is the oldest of the Baudelaire children. She is the thinker of the family and she loves inventing. Klaus is the only boy and is 12. He is incredibly intelligent and loves to read the books in his parents library. The youngest Baudelaire child is Sunny. Her forte is biting, anything and everything.
The three children had no idea of what to happen as they played happily on the beach that day. Only when a strange figure appeared in the mist did they start to wonder. News came with this figure, who turns out to be a friend of their parents Mr Poe, that a terrible fire had burnt down their home and killed their parents. Suddenly orphaned the children struggle to come to terms with what will happen to them now and where on earth they will go.
Mr Poe takes them in until it can be decided what to do with them. Nothing can prepare them for the place they will end up. Their parents will says they must be raised in the most convenient way possible. The nearest living relative is the dreadful Count Olaf. Once they have arrived at his house they realise how terrible life is going to be.
The Counts house is filthy and he makes the orphans clean and do chores for him. He is mean and nasty and doesn’t like children at all. So the children start to wonder why he would want them to live with him at all. They wish they could live with the Counts lovely next door neighbour, Judge Strauss. She is a lovely lady and allows the children to visit her house and read the books in her huge library. She has no idea how terribly the children are being treated by Count Olaf.
Its only when they discover that the Count intends to get his hands on their inheritance fortune left to them by their parents that the children understand they must do something. The Count plots an evil plan in which he will marry Violet and the fortune will be his. Realising the plan the children read all of the legal books in the Judges library to figure out what to do. The Count finds out he has been discovered and kidnaps Sunny and places her in the tower in a cage. Attempts to rescue her by Violet fail and the children are forced to go through with the wedding. The Count thinks he has won his fortune. Has he? Read to find out!