This was boring. Boring is a word that means not fun to read and also causing weariness when reading continues.
The definitions were killing me, here. Absolutely killing me. This seems to be a Lemony Snicket thing, but I just can't take it. I couldn't have taken it as a child, and I certainly can't take it as an adult. It feels alarmingly patronizing in the worst possible way (is there a good way to be patronizing?)
The little mysteries were kind of interesting, though very bare bones, and I solved a few and didn't manage to solve a few of the others. These reminded me of the "Clue" books I read as a child, which I really enjoyed.
Lemony Snicket as a character (because yes, he is a character, the main character, and I think I might be missing some of the mythology of this guy) is faintly annoying. He seems to know the answer to everything without actually feeling clever, which is just awkward-feeling and seems like bad writing more than anything else. Coupled with the fact that he shares the author's name (or pseudonym, I suppose), it feels like he knows the answer because the author knows the answer because the author is, you know, writing the bloody book, so obviously he knows the answer.
The writing style is just not something that worked for me at all, and I don't think it is something that will ever work for me. I finished this because it was extremely short and I'll probably finish The Bad Beginning because I have started it and because it is such a hugely popular series, but I don't think that I can jump on the Lemony Snicket train here. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.