What follows are my thoughts and findings regarding the clues from

Why would anyone want to steal this statue?

In Maryland in 2004, as part of Calvert County's 350th anniversary celebration, Annmarie Garden and Calvert County schools, both public and private, began a collaborative project whose main goal was to raise money for the art programs in the schools there. And so, the Seahorses By the Bay Public Art Project began: 25, six foot fiberglass seahorse statues were molded at Calvert Marine Museum and designed and decorated by students in Calvert County schools. Most of these original seahorse statues were to be auctioned off at Annmarie Garden’s annual Halloween event to benefit the schools. On June 25 of the same year, however, one of the statues, painted by Calvert Middle School students, was stolen in broad daylight from the front of a Prince Frederick Restaurant. (It was noted that the art bandits most likely used Route 2-4 for their getaway.) The statue, appropriately named “Starfish,” was painted in the style of Van Gogh’s “Starry, Starry Night.” In mid-August, two days after police offered an amnesty deal to the thieves, the statue was found, dumped in the hedges outside the Calvert Middle School cafeteria.[1][2][3]

Dadeland Mall, in Miami, FL, once displayed a seahorse fountain. In the late 70s, however, the mall was doing some cleaning and remodeling, and temporarily removed the statue by cutting it in half. Crooks broke in and stole the statue. Although the bottom half was found in a nearby canal, the head was never found. The locations of both halves are currently unknown. [4]

Also, the URL to the photo has strings of letters that spell out "a gem heist." Quagmire Sapphires perhaps?

Who is Ellington Feint?

"I saw her smile, shadowy in the moonlight. It was a smile that might have meant anything."

Lyrics to the chorus of How High the Moon by Duke Ellington:

Somewhere there's music
How faint the tune
Somewhere there's heaven
How high the moon

Also, here is a list of anagrams of "Ellington Feint."

Where has all the ink gone?

"Qwerty looked at me, his face as blank as one of those extra pages tucked in the back of a book for notes or secrets."

“QWERTY” references the first six letters of the standard American keyboard.

As far as those blank pages go, are the books for notes and secrets, or do the pages serve that purpose? Personally, I believe Snicket is just talking about how the pages, at the backs of books that are for notes are generally left blank, and so he uses this to describe the blank look on Qwerty’s face. Perhaps the keys on his keyboard had no letters on them? And when he refers to ink, does he mean a typewriter ribbon?


"Books are like libraries–if you see one open you cannot help disappearing inside."

In the Dewey Decimal System, the 800 class contains "Literature, Rhetoric & Criticism." The code 804 is listed as "Not assigned or no longer used."[5]

And a toothbrush.

"Always pack something formal and black when going on a trip. People die on vacation all the time."

In this image, there is a luggage tag on one of the suitcases that reads, "S.T.M." Does this mean that S. Theodora Markson will perish?


  1. Hann-Ruff, Stacey (15 Aug 2004). "Letter to the Editor: Sehorse 'Memorial'." Washington Post.
  2. Steele, Carrie (July 2004). "Giant Seahorse Swims Away." Bay Weekly.
  3. Santana, Arthur (19 Aug 2004). "Stolen Seahorse Statue Returned." Washington Post.
  4. What happened to seahorse fountain at dadeland mall? Wiki Answers.
  5. List of Dewey Decimal Classes

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