My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a joy to read from start to finish, and it’s clear to see why it got the accolades it did.
You don’t come across many middle grade murder mystery books. (At least I haven’t. Maybe it’s a whole subgenre I’ve been missing out in.) I’ll be honest, though: the plot isn’t the driving force behind this book, and it’s not the reason I loved it as much as I did. Sum it up, and it sounds appealing, but less than enthralling. Young protagonist Mo LeBeau is a sixth grade girl with a strange first name and a unique history. She was found in the middle of a hurricane by a man with amnesia, and the two of them were taken in by a woman in a small southern town. Together, the three of them run the town’s cafe. Life is good, but quirky, until a local gets murdered, and Mo takes it on herself to figure out whodunnit.
The plot itself is serviceable, and you certainly want to find out the truth, but the biggest draw to this book is 100% the voice. It’s rare that I start a book and fall in love with the voice as easily as this. Told in first person, the whole novel is a delight, as we see the world through Mo’s eyes. She’s sassy, fearless, and inquisitive. Far from a perfect person, she nevertheless shines as inherently *good*, no matter what else might be happening around her. I would probably happily read a few chapters by Mo that recounted nothing more than what she did during a week of school.
The plot does tend to unravel a bit at the end, but it didn’t matter to me. I was having a great time listening to Mo and getting to know her better. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, you should 100% check out Three Times Lucky.