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- ISBN-13: 9780803736719
- ISBN-10: 0803736711
- Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
- Publish Date: February 2014
- Page Count: 352
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-11
- Reviewer: Staff
After solving a murder in their small North Carolina town over the summer, the heroes of Turnage’s Newbery Honor–winning Three Times Lucky “went famous for about a week until the gravity of habit pulled our lives back into regular orbit,” says narrator Mo LoBeau in this equally hilarious sequel. Sixth grade is starting, but who has time to worry about interviewing elderly residents for a history project to mark the town’s 250th anniversary when the dilapidated inn that Miss Lana, Mo’s guardian, just acquired at auction is obviously haunted? One mystery per book is not enough for Turnage, so there’s also buried treasure, a missing moonshine still, impending financial ruin, and strange goings-on in the woods. Not every thread is fully tied off, but the residents of Tupelo Landing are so companionable and Mo so indefatigable (and funny) that readers can only hope those loose ends mean another installment is in the works. The budding detective has clearly taken to heart something her foster mother always emphasizes: “All the world’s a stage, sugar, so hop on up there.” Ages 10–up. Agent: Melissa Jeglinski, the Knight Agency. (Feb.)
Spooky homework for Mo
BookPage Top Pick in Children's Books, February 2014
On the heels of solving her first mystery in the Newbery Honor book Three Times Lucky, Mo LoBeau faces more intrigue in her tiny North Carolina town of Tupelo Landing. Just when her adoptive kin buy the old Tupelo Inn, now abandoned and rumored to be haunted, her sixth-grade teacher assigns an oral history report to coincide with the community’s 250th anniversary. Extra credit goes to the student who can interview the town’s oldest member, so Mo decides to interview the ghost of the Tupelo Inn because “[t]here ain’t nobody older than dead.”
Helping Mo form the Desperado Detective Agency’s new Paranormal Division is her steadfast partner and classmate, Dale. As the sleuthing duo employs various methods of communicating with Tupelo’s mystifying resident, they discover that the ghost is a girl who may have been murdered, and that some of Tupelo’s finest—and not-so-finest—may know forgotten clues. As if solving another murder mystery weren’t enough to keep Mo busy, the town’s crotchety moonshiner complicates matters throughout.
As in Sheila Turnage’s debut novel, relationships are key in this Southern story: Mo and Dale’s sibling-like camaraderie; the budding romance of Mo’s adoptive parents, Miss Lana and the Colonel (now that the Colonel’s amnesia has cleared); and the ghost girl’s attraction to newcomer Harm, who eerily resembles his long-lost moonshining grandfather. Mo’s continuing letters to her unknown “Upstream Mother” help her sort out clues in the case—and in life. Small-town charm, clever dialogue and Mo’s unyielding wit are excellent reminders of why the first book was so successful. With The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, readers will fall in love with Mo and her endearing friends and family all over again.