Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. How could you not pick up a book with a cover like this? Then you read the first sentence- " Trouble cruised into Tupelo Landing at exactly seven minutes past noon on Wednesday, the third of June, flashing a gold badge and driving a Chevy Impala the color of dirt. Almost before the dust had settled, Mr. Jesse turned up dead and life in Tupelo Landing turned upside down."
I'm sold from the first sentence and the book just gets better. Full of quick wit and humor, mystery and mayhem, this novel for upper elementary will have readers turning those pages. Plenty of trouble waits for Mo (ses) and Dale (Earnhardt Johnson III) with lots of red herrings to steer them astray. Mo is an orphan who washed up in a storm eleven years ago and was found by The Colonel, who had lost his memory. When Mr. Jesse is found dead, Mo and Dale decide to solve the murder themselves. So when Dale is also a suspect and the Colonel goes missing, things just get complicated.
Know that in addition to murder, the story also touches briefly on alcoholism and domestic violence. Without giving away the resolution, know that you'll be pleasantly surprised in the end. Mo will steal your heart and give you a laugh along the way.