The back story of Three Times Lucky grabbed me (baby gets washed up during a Hurricane and then grows up to be adoptd child detective in small town where everyone knows everyone’s business … or so they think). And I liked the character of Mo, the girl who helps solve the mystery in her town. She’s all spunk and intelligence. But I wasn’t all that engaged with the writing, for some reason. It rang false to me (I say this as a a northerner not attuned to southern dialect, so take that comment for what it is — it still felt like I was reading stereotypical dialogue). And I could not ever shake that feeling as I read the story, even as I wanted to find out how it all ends.
It ends well, and Mo’s intuition and detective skills rise up to the surface, redeeming the book for me. Writer Sheila Turnage wisely brings another storm into focus as the plot thickens, and Mo and her best friend try to solve a kidnapping, a murder and an old robbery. You cheer for Mo, a “rising sixth grader” with a huge heart and worry about her birth mother whose presence is only felt in the message-in-a-bottle missives that Mo sends forth into the world from her adopted home.
Peace (in the mire),