Three Times Lucky is about a girl, Mo (Moses) LoBeau, who lives in a small North Carolina town where everyone knows everyone. There's one person Mo doesn't know, though, and that's her mother. Mo was found in stream in the middle of a hurricane by a man whom everyone knows as "Colonel." The Colonel is an amnesiac, and has no clue where he came from. I'll let you read the book to find out his story - it was shocking! Anyway, the Colonel and his friend Miss Lana become Mo's adoptive parents and she lives with them happily, working at their town cafe. She is always curious about her mother, though, and sends messages in a bottle to her "Upstream Mother" all the time, in hopes that she'll get a response.
Everything's great in their town of Tupelo Landing until a resident turns up dead. This brings two big city detectives - Detective Starr and Deputy Marla - into town, but Mo and her friend Dale are convinced that they can solve the crime better than anyone, and they begin to conduct their own investigation. Along the way, there's a hurricane, a funeral, and a kidnapping, but they eventually help save the day and put the murderer in jail.
I could not put this book down. I fell in love with all of Tupelo Landing's quirky characters - Grandmother Miss Lacy Thornton, who acts as the town's mother hen, Reverend Thompson and his son Thes, whose cat goes missing constantly, Miss Lana, who has a room full of wigs (even a Cher wig) and loves to play dress up, and then of course, Mo, who thinks of herself as a bona fide detective, and Dale, who goes along with her every whim. Mo might actually be one of my new favorite heroines - she's smart, tells it like it is, and is a real go-getter.
This book has the perfect mixture of adventure and mystery that I think could keep any reader engrossed.