This story begins with the three Baudelaire children. Klaus, Violet, and Sunny are three of the main characters. One day, the Baudelaire children got into a cab to go to their guardian, their Aunt Josephine, who has many fears. She lives by a lake and her house is high in the air. The Baudelaire's went to the store once with their Aunt Josephine to get some food, and right then and there Violet ran into Count Olaf. For those who don't know Count Olaf is trying to kill the children because of their fortune their parents left behind when they died. No one believed the children though, because Count Olaf was in disguise as Captain Sham. Later on in the story, the Baudelaire's find out that Aunt Josephine has a library, but only full of grammar books. The children wonder why there aren't any books about the lake or anything else.