The Reptile Room
The second book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series.
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.
In The Reptile Room the siblings endure a car accident, a terrible smell, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a brass reading lamp, and the re-appearance of a person they'd hoped never to see again.