Horton Halfpott, better known as Hort, is a good boy but a boy who has the great misfortune to work in the kitchen of Miss Neversly of the wooden spoon. This kitchen is located in Smugwick Manor the home of M'Lady Luggertuck whose corset is about to be loosened. As the corset goes, so goes the Manor as suddenly the extremely valuable family jewel known as the Luggertuck Lump is found to be missing. There is nothing to do but to call in an expert and Sir Portnoy St. Pomfrey arrives on the scene to get to the bottom of the mystery of the lump.
Now no story is truly complete without a lovely young lady and happily our story has one, the fair Miss Celia Smythe-Sylvan. Miss Smythe-Sylvan has money my friend and she is standing directly in the sites of one Luther Luggertuck who sees her as his future meal ticket since the family fortunes are in a state of decline. Horton himself finds Miss Smythe-Sylvan an encouraging companion as well.
Now, the pirates on the other hand see Miss Smythe-Sylvan as a kidnapping job that must be done. Lemony Snicket has clearly met Monty Python and they have communed with Tom Angleberger.
Prepare to wander a bit down a hilarious path meeting one wacky character after another in pursuit of a riotous good time. But keep your eye on Miss Neversly's spoon...she doesn't miss often. Ages 8-11 206 pages