This was a series that I adored as a child and waited impatiently for the latest to be released. It's one of those few books that is accurately translated into a movie. Reading it again, I realised that it is a very depressing book for a child to read (and I was reading it around the age of eleven...) though in saying that the resourceful children always find a way to get themselves out of their unfortunate circumstances.
There is 13 books and each details a new unfortunate adventure that the children worm their way out of, with Count Olaf constantly on their tales.
Trailer for the movie: (it's got Jim Carrey!)
Violet, Klaus and Sunny live a happy life with their loving parents, until a fire burns down their house and leave them orphans. They are taken to their (geographically) closest relative, who is Count Olaf. He immediately relates his plot to take their fortune from them. He forces them to do enormous amounts of chores. The children try to tell the manager of their parent's estate and their neighbour, but they are ignored. Fortunately, the children cannot access the money until Violet is 18. But Count Olaf continues to conspire and involves the children in a play. Violet is the bride, and Olaf the groom. But it is really a marriage under the guise of a play. If Olaf marries Violet, her money becomes his as well. But Violet signs the marriage certificate with her left hand, and this invalidates it. Count Olaf is revealed as the true louse that he is, but manages to get away from the authorities. The orphans are shepherded to their next closest relative.