Three Times Lucky

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, and Edgar Award Nominee

Goodreads summary: A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime. Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee.

Mo LoBeau is certain to become one of the greatest literary female characters; she’s part detective, friend, waitress, and spunky girl! We find ourselves in Tupelo Landing where Mo lives with Colonel and Miss Lana, the people who saved her as she was washed ashore during a horrible hurricane.  Her best friend is Dale Earnhardt Johnson III and together they help run the Colonel’s local cafe and search for Mo’s long lost mother.

“I could feel it in my bones: Trouble had come to Tupelo Landing for good.” 

However, on a particularly slow summer day, a lawyer shows up to the cafe to ask questions about a dead customer. Mo is sure to be the best local Tupelo Landing private eye, so she and Dale embark on a quest to find the truth behind the mystery and murder.

The plot is well-written, the characters are dimensional, and the details build a small place called Tupelo Landing so real that the reader wonders if she can visit it.  Mo’s autobiography is labeled “THE PIGGLY WIGGLY CHRONICLES, VOLUME 6. TOP SECRET. If you ain’t me, stop reading.” There are so many moments that caused me to chuckle. Moreover, Mo LeBeau learns about who her parents are and how much she is loved.  The ending of the book not only reveals the mystery, but it reveals the importance of loving parental relationships.

Three Times Lucky quickly jumped to the list of my favorite children’s books.  Many literary critics argue that the most classic pieces stem from the “a stranger comes into town mysteriously” plot line, and Turnage certainly evokes that classic plot line to create a mystery book for readers.  The characters are charming and realistic; it’s a great read, so add it to your shelf for you or your children!




  1. Thanks for a great review Brittany. This is the second review I have read about this book and it is just so intriguing. Its definately on my to read list. Thanks so much for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheers Julie

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