September 7, 2018

Blog Tour: The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage

8 Reasons You Should Read The Mo & Dale Mystery Series

Today, I am happy to join the official Penguin Young Readers blog tour to celebrate the fourth and final installment in Sheila Turner's middle-grade mystery series, The Law of Finders Keepers (Mo & Dale Mysteries #4).

Mo and Dale Mystery Series Sheila Turnage

After having read and enjoyed the first three installments (Three Times Lucky, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, and The Odds of Getting Even), I was sad to hear that Turner was ending the bestselling series with this final book. Some books turn into series when they should just stay single installments, and it's true that sometimes other series tend to drag on, but I have loved reading about Tupelo Landing and Mo and Dale's adventures and I am sorry to see it come to an end. On that note, I am sharing my list of 8 reasons you should read The Law of Finders Keepers or recommend it to a middle-grade reader. But first, here are some more details about the upcoming book and its author.

Book Description:

"Pirate fever sweeps through the town after an opportunistic treasure hunter shows up looking to lay claim to Blackbeard's lost gold buried somewhere in Tupelo Landing. When the (probably) world-famous Desperado Detectives--Mo and Dale and Harm--are hired by Mayor Little's mother to find the pirate loot for her, and the high-stakes race for riches is on!

But that's not the only treasure hunt in town. Mo LoBeau unearths shocking new clues that may lead to her long-lost Upstream Mother--in the riskiest, scariest, and possibly richest case of her life.

Will Mo find her Upstream Mother? Can the Desperados sidestep Blackbeard's curse and outsmart a professional treasure hunter? Will Dale faint under the pressure of Valentine's Day? Could the stakes be any higher? Yes. With twin treasures hanging in the balance, Mo, Dale, and Harm realize one of them may have to leave Tupelo Landing. For good."

Author Bio:

Sheila Turnage is from eastern North Carolina, just like Miss Moses LoBeau, the protagonist from the Mo & Dale mystery series that began with Three Times Lucky. Three Times Lucky is a Newbery Honor Book, a New York Times bestseller, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book, and an Edgar Award finalist. It has been nominated for nineteen state awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet Master List, and has been licensed in five countries. Her follow-up book, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, also a New York Times bestseller, received five starred reviews and was a SIBA Winter 2014 Okra Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection. Sheila is also the author of two more books in the Mo & Dale Mystery series, The Odds of Getting Even and The Law of Finders Keepers, and the nonfiction adult books Haunted Inns of the Southeast and Compass American Guides: North Carolina, as well as one picture book, Trout the Magnificent, illustrated by Janet Stevens.

So, why should you catch up on The Mo & Dale Mystery series and read The Law of Finders Keepers? Here are eight reasons why:

8. The Colonel. 

Mo's adoptive father, the Colonel, adds a lot of color to the story. He runs their small-town restaurant like you would expect a military man to, except that he isn't a military man at all, but actually a former lawyer who may or may not have experienced amnesia when he had an accident and ended up in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina ready to start a new life.

7. Miss Lana. 

Mo's adoptive mother (though, I don't believe any official paperwork has ever been filed) helps run the family restaurant by adding her own Hollywood-starlet touch. Having always wanted to live a life on the stage, occasionally Miss Lana leaves town for a bit (her and the Colonel seem to tag-team their getaways) but she always comes home donning a new wig and bright lipstick ready with new ideas for themes they can use to decorate Tupelo Landing's favorite diner.

6. The Mysteries. 

So far in the series, audiences have seen Mo and Dale hide from the law, search for murders and criminals, investigate thefts, break-ins, and even ghost sightings, all while still having the time and heart to offer free runaway pet rescue to the local school children.

5. Upstream Mother. 

When Mo washed up in a hurricane after her birth and was rescued by Miss Lana and the Colonel, she found a new family but has always wondered what happened to the woman who placed her in a basket and set her downstream, just like the baby Moses (hence Mo's full name). Mo writes her mother letters, friends and family frequently offer to drop the letters-in-a-bottle up the river in hopes that they'll someday reach the woman who bore Mo, but readers have yet to find out if mother and daughter will ever be reunited or if Mo will have to learn that family is what you make of it.

4. Tupelo Landing.

 In my opinion, Tupelo Landing, the setting for the Mo & Dale Mystery series, is one of the most dynamic and engaging settings I've encountered in recent middle-grade fiction. I love the small-town characters, their quirks, how everyone knows one another, and how the town is a character all its own.

3. The Humor.

 Sheila Turnage has done well filling her bestselling children's series with jokes, dry humor, funny quirks, and a host of other elements that make the books both humorous and heartwarming. In her southern twang, Mo tells it like it is, Dale joins her, and their funny comebacks and banter make the characters come alive.

2. Dale Earnhardt Johnson III.

Mo's best friend, Dale, was given a big name so he'd have a lot to live up to. Dale's family life is almost as complicated as Mo's--his father's in prison, his older brother (whom Mo wants to marry someday) has moved away from home, and his mother is a sweet and wonderful woman who has to deal with problems of her own. Sometimes Dale and Mo get into fights or have squabbles, but they always have each other's back and make a great detective team.

1. Moses "Mo" LoBeau.

Turnage's main character, Mo LoBeau, is a wonderful protagonist. She feels like a combination of Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, and Harriet the Spy with a whole bunch of Southern Charm and spunk added in. She leads Dale on their adventures and is learning a lot about community, family, friends, and loyalty.

Thank you to Penguin Young Readers for sending me a copy. Be sure to order yours!

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