Pirates, family, and the truth about Mo’s Upstream Mother collide in the conclusion to the Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling Three Times Lucky
When the Colonel and Miss Lana share the clues about Mo’s watery origins that they’ve been saving, it seems the time is finally right for the Desperado Detectives (aka Mo, Dale, and Harm) to tackle the mystery of Mo’s Upstream Mother. It’s the scariest case Mo’s had by far. But before they can get started, Mayor Little’s mean mother hires them to hunt in her attic for clues to Blackbeard’s treasure, which could be buried right in Tupelo Landing. Turns out, the Desperados aren’t the only ones looking. A professional treasure hunter named Gabe has come to town with Harm’s estranged mother–and soon the race is on, even though the treasure’s rumored to be cursed. As centuries- and decades-old secrets are dragged into the light, there isn’t a single person in Tupelo Landing quite prepared for all that they uncover. Especially Mo.
The fourth and last book in the Mo & Dale Mystery series and the long-awaited conclusion to Three Times Lucky, The Law of Finders Keepers is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, honest, and hilarious adventure that you can read right after you finish Three Times Lucky.
Sequel to: The Odds of Getting Even
Part of Series: Mo and Dale Mysteries (Book #4)
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Criminal Culture
Booklist starred (August 2018 (Vol. 114, No. 22))
Grades 4-6. It’s a rare snowy day in eastern North Carolina when a bombastic out-of-towner arrives in Tupelo Landing to hunt for Blackbeard’s treasure. Sixth-graders Mo, Dale, and Harm form a rival team of searchers with the advantage of local knowledge, friends, and relations. Meanwhile, new clues emerge regarding Mo’s “Upstream Mother.” Pulled from a nearby river during a hurricane flood as an infant and taken in by her beloved “family of choice” (Miss Lana and the Colonel), Mo yearns to know about her blood kin. Mo, Dale, and Harm follow up every lead that might help uncover her past. As readers learned in the previous series volumes, beginning with Three Times Lucky (2012), Turnage’s fine-tuned talent for storytelling is as evident as her understated, irrepressible humor and her creative ability to turn a phrase, such as Mo’s description of an unsympathetic character after a disappointment: “his face going as soft and pale as raw dumplings.” While the plot and subplots veer off in unexpected directions, they intertwine at points before the satisfying conclusion. The large, intergenerational cast of idiosyncratic characters enriches this first-person narrative at every turn. Amusing, dramatic, and tender, this memorable chapter book is the final volume of the Mo & Dale Mystery series.
Horn Book Magazine (September/October, 2018)
In this fourth entry about Mo and Dale (beginning with Three Times Lucky, rev. 7/12), sixth graders Mo LoBeau, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, and Harm Crenshaw are still operating their world-famous Desperado Detective Agency. This time up, they have two mysteries to solve. The first brings new evidence concerning Mo’s continuing search for her biological mother, and the second plays on North Carolina lore as they pursue Blackbeard’s lost treasure. Having previously introduced the various inhabitants and setting of Tupelo Landing and established the main characters, here Turnage is free to concentrate on plot and her signature down-home Southern language. Characters grow and reveal their own complexities throughout the course of the novel: Harm must come to grips with his relationship with his mother, Mo needs to think about her mixed feelings for Harm, and Dale requires kissing lessons in preparation for Valentine’s Day. But the heart of the novel is the mysteries, and the solution to both involves more sophisticated detective work than the Desperados have employed before. This is a sit-back-and-let-the-story-carry-you kind of novel, but one that leaves questions of family and community for readers to ponder after the last page is turned. betty carter
About the Author
Sheila Turnage is from eastern North Carolina, just like Miss Moses LoBeau, the protagonist from the Mo & Dale mystery series that began with Three Times Lucky. Three Times Lucky is a Newbery Honor Book, a New York Times bestseller, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book, and an Edgar Award finalist. It has been nominated for nineteen state awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet Master List, and has been licensed in five countries. Her follow-up book, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, also a New York Times bestseller, received five starred reviews and was a SIBA Winter 2014 Okra Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection. Sheila is also the author of two more books in the Mo & Dale Mystery series, The Odds of Getting Even and The Law of Finders Keepers, and the nonfiction adult books Haunted Inns of the Southeast and Compass American Guides: North Carolina, as well as one picture book, Trout the Magnificent, illustrated by Janet Stevens. Her website is www.sheilaturnage.com
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