I decided to read these out of order when I couldn't find #3 immediately on the shelf at the library...amazingly, I got the gist of what was going on...the Baudelaire children once again found themselves in a dire situation with their evil Uncle Olaf attempting to steal their family fortune. This time, they are sent to live at what at first purports to be a home for children. But, in actuality it's not a place for children at all, but a mill where they are immediately put to work. Shortly after, Klaus experiences some strange behavioral changes, and the girls suspect he has fallen under Olaf's hypnotic spell. While I do like these little kids, they have already become quite predictable, and I don't think I'll pick up another one any time soon. Again, I'm sure this "negative" (as perceived by a 34 year old reader) is because these books are meant for 8-10 year olds (that's my guess at the appropriate age) and knowing what characters will say and do at that age can be a bit comforting. Especially when wrapped in the package of such sinister strangeness.