A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Vile Village, Lenomy Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), 2001
Out of relatives for the Baudelaire children, Mr. Poe places the children in the care of an entire town, the Village of Fowl Devotees. Oooh, look! There's that VFD again, which at the moment, still doesn't actually mean anything or stand for anything.
This is also the book where the author starts inserting himself by inserting family members, in this case Jacques Snicket. Things go from bad to worse as the usual cast of characters return. There was enough going on here where "Snicket" could have chosen to wrap some of it up or decide to drag everything out until the 13th book in the series. He chose the latter and is painfully obvious about it. The fact that Snicket is just as much in the dark as to where he is going as the Baudelaire orphans are is also painfully obvious.