Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
A hurricane can change everything in life. Mo LoBeau found this to be true when she was washed ashore as a baby during a fierce hurricane and found by a man, the Colonel, who lost his memory during that same storm. Raised by the tight laced Colonel and a free spirited, quirky woman, Miss Lana, Mo is now eleven years old, helps run the family cafe and is ready to have a fun and relaxing summer in her southern home town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina.
Mo's plans are dashed however, when grouchy old Mr. Jesse turns up dead and a big city detective, Joe Starr, comes asking questions. Naturally, Mo, already deep in detective work to find her "upstream Mother," quickly starts up a detective agency, The Desperado Detectives, with her best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, to solve the mystery of Mr. Jesse's death. Life quickly spins out of control - the Colonel disappears, Dale's brother is in a car crash, and then Miss Lana is kidnapped, all as another hurricane roars into town. So will Mo and Dale solve the murder, and the question of Mo's "upstream Mother," before the killer strikes again?
A quaint setting with a real southern twang, hilarious exchanges between quirky characters spearheaded by the sassy Mo, and a gripping plot propel this story and make for an amusing read. Some heavy subject matters are covered, so this book may be best for mature readers fourth grade and up. The humor in this book kept me from putting it down until the end. Mo is my new favorite spunky heroine. I cannot wait to read the sequel and learn more about the people of Tupelo Landing.