The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket: A

From the back cover:
Dear Reader,

Like handshakes, house pets, or raw carrots, many things are preferable when not slippery. Unfortunately, in this miserable volume, I am afraid that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire run into more than their fair share of slipperiness during their harrowing journey up—and down—a range of strange and distressing mountains.

In order to spare you any further repulsion, it would be best not to mention any of the unpleasant details of this story, particularly a secret message, a toboggan, a deceitful trap, a swarm of snow gnats, a scheming villain, a troupe of organized youngsters, a covered casserole dish, and a surprising survivor of a terrible fire.

Unfortunately, I have dedicated my life to researching and recording the sad tale of the Baudelaire Orphans. There is no reason for you to dedicate yourself to such things, and you might instead dedicate yourself to letting this slippery book slip from your hands into a nearby trash receptacle, or deep pit.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Hooray, lots of stuff happened! We get answers to some questions, make progress on others, and encounter a few new mysteries, to boot. Also, it seems like my prediction of what V.F.D. stands for might actually be correct.

Besides plot-related things, there’s also some interesting character growth this volume. Violet and Sunny in particular go through a few changes, and the older kids very nearly fight villainy with villainy. They have a bit of angst about possibly becoming villains themselves, what with having worn disguises the previous volume and been a bit deceitful, etc. It really gives a strong double-meaning to the title.

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