"I can think of no single reason why anyone would want to open a book containing such unpleasant
matters as migrating crow
s, an angry mob
, a newspaper headline
, the arrest of innocent
people, the Deluxe Cell, and some very strange hats."
The Baudelaires (and Count Olaf, of course) return in A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS book 7, by Lemony Snicket. Now, on the premise "It takes a village to raise a child," the Baudelaire orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are shipped off to the village of their choice to be raised by the whole town. Intrigued by the initials V.F.D. in the travel guide, the Baudelaires choose that town, and are dropped off at the city limits to fend for themselves. The entire city of V.F.D. is occupied by crows, a huge amount of crows that migrate in certain ways. The orphans report to the Council of Elders and are assigned to live with a nice handyman named Hector, whom they help do chores. Unfortunately, the Council has enforced thousands of bizarre rules on the town, and anyone who breaks them is subject to the mercy of the Council, which is a shame because said mercy does not seem to exist. Meanwhile, a local newspaper (with lots of misprints) announces that Count Olaf is at large, and the Council catches a man who looks much like Olaf and sentences him to being burned at the stake. The Baudelaires want to save him, and in so doing they discover he is already murdered, and that THEY are receiving the blame . . . from a strange new detective who is really Count Olaf in disguise. The Baudelaires have been receiving strange couplet messages with clues to the Quagmires' whereabouts, written in Isadora Quagmire's distinctive handwriting and poetry style. They receive the last couplet while incarcerated awaiting their own stake-burning, for murdering Count Olaf's lookalike, who apparently knew their parents but didn't get to say anything about it. They hatch a plan and break out of the jail cell after being threatened by Count Olaf that they should choose one person to live with him and the others would have to be burned at the stake. Finally they attempt escape in Hector's flying contraption, after deciphering the riddle and freeing Isadora and Duncan, but Hector and the Quagmires end up floating away without the Baudelaires as a result of the police chief's good harpoon aim. The secret of V.F.D. is still not revealed, as the city's name V.F.D. turns out to stand for "Village of Fowl Devotees," and the Baudelaires are once again left on their own, trying to fend for themselves, after Sunny takes her first steps on Klaus's birthday. The continuing search for the real meaning of V.F.D. continues in Volume 8 of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, The Hostile Hospital.