In the fourth and final book in the series that began with Three Times Lucky (2012), “possible orphan” Mo LoBeau comes up against an adversary slicker than motor oil on a pond and discovers clues to the whereabouts of her long-missing Upstream Mother.
The search for Blackbeard’s treasure brings professional treasure hunter Gabriel Archer into Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, with a lot of oily talk and shady intentions. When Miss Lana and the Colonel give Mo a box that was set aside for her when she floated into their lives on a signboard 12 years earlier, Mo’s search for her Upstream Mother is reinvigorated with new clues. Soon Mo and her faithful cast of characters—Dale, Harm, Lavender, and Queen Elizabeth the dog, as well as the ever hateful though sometimes surprising Atilla—must juggle the search for worldly treasures as well as treasures of the heart. Turnage brings a lively cast rich with heartfelt emotion and quick-witted charm. Exceptional command of voices delivered with wit propels this fast-paced treasure-hunt tale into a pitch-perfect delight: “Stole is such a harsh word,” the mayor says when discussing how the cache came to Tupelo Landing. “Let’s say she set it free and it didn’t come home to him.” The book assumes a white default.
Lovers of the previous books will delight in the return of Mo, and if they can get through the end without welling up, they’re tougher than most—it’s absolutely worth the wait. (Fiction. 8-12)