I had expected "The Ersatz Elevator" to differ from its precedors. The reason for those expectations were the ending of book number five. "The Austere Academy" ended with a hint of a solution to a triggering mystery, and I thought that book number six would finally offer the key to unlock Count Olaf's background story. Sadly it didn't and the story continued in the same repetitive pattern as before.
I still adore Lemony Snicket's unique way with words, I just long for something more substantial to be added to the series.