The Penultimate Peril, Book the Twelfth of The Series of Unfortunate Events, is by far the best book of the series. Daniel Handler’s keen wit, evident in all the books, has been honed here to a fine point. It’s fun and funny, and there are many surprises and unexpected twists. But beyond that, it’s a book of surprising depth and sophistication. The book is a dizzying feast of literary allusions, social satire, and philosophical exploration, wrapped up in a package that is, quite simply, fun to read.