Some books have such pitch-perfect voice that you would follow the characters over a cliff--or in this case, into a hurricane--and not even bat an eye. THREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila Turnage is one of those.
I first heard about THREE TIMES LUCKY several months ago, when I read Myrna's "Marvelous Middle Grade Monday" review. The premise piqued my interest, but since Myrna had read it as an ARC and I couldn't check it out right then, I promptly forgot about it. Thank goodness I remembered when I saw it in The King's English several weeks ago.
THREE TIMES LUCKY tells the story of Moses "Mo" LoBeau, who blew into a small North Carolina town during a hurricane eleven years before. Mo's a natural-born detective, mostly because she's spent most of her life searching for her Upstream Mother and the other people she belongs to. So when one of her neighbors turns up dead and a real detective pulls into town looking for the killer, Mo isn't about to be upstaged. But she'd better hurry. Another hurricane's a-brewing, and the killer's closing in.
As I already mentioned, I loved, loved, loved the voice. I may be partial to precocious Southern girls, but I'm pretty sure Mo would win anybody over. And the rest of the cast is just as memorable, from her best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, whose daddy believes in naming for the famous, to her adoptive mama Miss Lana, who has a fondness for wigs and French accents. THREE TIMES LUCKY doesn't want for larger-than-life personalities.
If you love middle grade, mysteries, or memorable characters who will stay with you long after you turn the final page, you're bound to love Ms. Turnage's MG debut. It is, in a word, delightful.