by Sheila Turnage
256 pages of serious fun for middle grade readers
Right from the start-“Trouble cruised into Tupelo Landing at exactly seven minutes past noon on Wednesday, the third of June, flashing a gold badge and driving a Chevy Impala the color of dirt.” – you know that Three Times Lucky is something good to read. Mo LaBeau is a “rising sixth grader” with an interest in uncovering the truth. She was washed into Tupelo Landing in the middle of a hurricane 11 years ago and she has been searching for her “up-stream mother” ever since. In the meantime she has found her home with the café-owning, Colonel and hostess/cook extraordinaire, Miss Lana. And that is where badge-wearing, Jack Starr stops to begin his investigation.
Nothing seems to be staying the same. One minute Mo is planning on fishing with her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, the next she can’t because she is needed to serve at the café. Miss Lana is gone. The three-day rule – you can’t be gone from the family without calling by the third day – is stretched. And then there is a murderer around town. Miss Lana returns, but the Colonel leaves. Lavender crashes in the race and Dale is implicated in the murder. Mo has so many questions and confusing connections that discovering the truth is a real challenge. In that challenge Desperado Detectives is born. Mo and Dale want to solve the murder before Starr and with the help of some first-rate informants, courage and determination their investigation progresses. It doesn’t always go smoothly, easily or without danger but a much is uncovered.
How will the murder get solved? What will happen when Hurricane Amy hits? What is it that the Colonel can’t remember? How do all these pieces fit together? Three Times Lucky is full of amazing characters, wit and charm. You’ll read to find out how the Macon’s deal with his often-drunk dad, to find out if Anna Celeste Simpson will always remain Mo’s “sworn enemy for life” and to discover how life has changed in Tupelo Landing once the investigation is complete.
If you liked Turtle in Paradise, Moon Over Manifest or Dead-End in Norvelt then you’ll certainly enjoy Three Times Lucky. Read it and let us know what you think.