Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In this sequel to Newbery Honor-winning Three Times Lucky, Mo and Dale of the Desperado Detective Agency find themselves in the midst of another mystery involving their hometown of Tupelo Landing, N.C. But rather than bank robberies and dead bodies, this time around their investigation involves a supernatural twist. The sale of the Tupelo Inn sets off a chain of events that lead young detectives on a quest to find the origin of the ghosts that apparently haunt the inn. They must solve the case for the endearing Miss Lana, Mo's guardian, now the owner of the inn, as well as for the ghosts themselves. Told through the eyes of Mo, the narration calls for a mixture of wide-eyed innocence, inquisitive gumption, and Southern charm. Fortgang sets the tone perfectly and is an absolutely charming narrator. Listeners will think that they're listening to Mo tell her story directly. Her delivery is smooth and natural. The Southern twang, coupled with a shifting tempo of narration dependent upon the story's need, produces a perfect mix for listening enjoyment. Ages 10-up. A Dial hardcover. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-7-In this sequel to Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012), Mo and Dale are back in action. Mo's guardian Miss Lana makes the winning bid on a decrepit and haunted inn to avoid having the pushy competing bidders as neighbors. She gets funding help from a wealthy friend and sets about to get the inn ready for business. Meanwhile, the sixth graders have to interview the town's elderly residents for a history project. The fine print of the sale paperwork includes the fact that the inn comes complete with ghosts, so Mo and Dale sign up to interview the inn's ghost. Narrator Sheila Turnage affects a Southern drawl for this telling, which is initially off-putting. She de-emphasizes the final consonants so that the reader must adjust the volume to catch every word. But once listeners become attuned to the narrative style, they will be immersed into the setting. While it's a tad long, the story will not disappoint fans of the first book. The characters all grow and learn as the plot develops. The weaving of interviews, moonshining, buried treasure, ghosts, and the quirky Tupelo characters makes for a unique and intriguing story.-Deb Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* More tightly focused than Turnage's Newbery Honor book, Three Times Lucky (2012), this absorbing sequel quickly reacquaints readers with the Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, setting and its quirky inhabitants, while introducing a few new characters and another mystery for Mo and her friend Dale (aka the Desperado Detective Agency) to solve. Each question they answer leads to another: Who was the girl whose ghost haunts the dilapidated Old Tupelo Inn, which operated from 1880 to 1938? How did she die? Who killed her? Why does she still haunt the inn? When a sixth-grade history project sends Mo, Dale, and their classmates out to interview elderly residents, the pieces of the puzzle gradually move into place with an occasional nudge from the ghost herself. The intrepid Mo LoBeau, who narrates the story, gives full credit to her best buddy, the occasionally trepid Dale, and slowly warms up to Harm, an initially cocky newcomer whose family history is intertwined with the mystery. The portrayal of Dale's attitude toward his father, now in prison, is handled with sensitivity and perceptiveness. Turnage's ability to create convincing characters and her colorful use of language combine to make this a fresh, droll, rewarding return trip to Tupelo Landing.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Those who visited Tupelo Landing previously (in Newbery Honor book Three Times Lucky, rev. 7/12) are familiar with the numerous colorful inhabitants of this small North Carolina town. Newcomers, though, will need more than a smidgen of time and patience to sort them all out, time that would be more enjoyably spent reading the first book. But once readers get the lay of the land, their efforts will be rewarded. Mo LoBeau (accent on the final syllable) and her best friend Dale find themselves slap-dab in the middle of another mystery. When the abandoned Tupelo Inn goes up for auction, Mo and Dale accompany Miss Lana (who, along with The Colonel, form Mo's "family of choice") and Grandmother Miss Lacy (no relation, but the nicest old person in town) to the sale. Fearing that a snippy banker will buy the property, the two women outbid her and take ownership of the ramshackle inn and all its history, including a strange apparition. Mo's distinctive voice, full of humor and Southern colloquialisms, narrates a tale with as many twists and turns as North Carolina's own Tar River, giving readers a sweet, laid-back story that reveals a ghost who, bless her heart, just wants to set the record straight about her death. betty carter (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
With heaps of Southern charm and the homespun humor of a favorite uncle, Turnage presents the spirited follow-up to her Newbery Honor debut, Three Times Lucky (2012). Just as its predecessor did, this sequel shines thanks to Turnage's deft, lyrical language and engaging characters. Mo LoBeau and her Desperado Detective Agency cohort, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, are sixth graders now. When a purportedly haunted historic inn goes on auction and Mo's guardian, Miss Lana, wins the bid, Mo is determined to use her detecting skills to find the ghost. Dale isn't so sure, but Mo is a force of nature when she sets her mind. But Dale fears Mo has gone too far when, in a fit of one-upmanship with her archnemesis Anna "Attila" Celeste Simpson, Mo declares that she and Dale will do a class project on the town's oldest citizen. Turnage crafts a laugh-out-loud scene: "It would mean extra credit," Miss Retzyl points out. "Extra credit looms large with Dale, who specializes in the Recess Arts.... Attila flashed her braces. There isn't anyone older [than Mayor Little's mother], Mo-ron'....My temper popped like bacon on a hot skillet. There is too somebody older....Dale and me are interviewing a ghost.' " Naturally, Mo and Dale learn as much about growing up as they do about spirits from the great beyond. This delightful sequel demonstrates that Tupelo Landing may be even better on a second visit. (Mystery. 10-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.