Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vacation in Tupelo Landing - with ghosts

 The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

A good book is like a mind vacation.  And that's what reading The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing was like.  Mo Lebeau, Miss Lana, Dale and the Colonel are back with a local history assignment, a new kid in class, and an auction at the abandoned inn.

Miss Lana and Grandmother Miss Lacy conspire to purchase the inn. (The other bidder was despicable!)  And the inn comes with a ghost - in the fine print of the deed.

The members of the Desperado Detective Agency (Mo and Dale) decide to unmask that ghost with terrifying and edifying results.

I love fiction - because it's not fact.  There are kids out there as quick-witted - or quick-mouthed - as Mo.  We just don't run into them all that often.  There are friendships like Mo and Dale's, too.  Still, Mo's mindfulness about Dale's thinking ("rhetorical" "social skills") and Dale's just plain niceness work to warm the reader's heart. ( Of older readers, anyway.)

There is a little incident toward the end of the book.  Dale has visited his dad, Macon, in jail and Dale's older brother, Lavender, asks about the visit.  "Same dog, same spots,"  Dale says (mixing up the leopard/spots thing.).  Mo notices that Lavender's face goes soft, the way that Miss Lana's face looks sometimes when Miss Lana looks at Mo.  And the reader knows that Lavender truly loves - no, cherishes - his little brother.

Yeah, I wish Tupelo Landing was a real place.  I wish I could visit with the Colonel and Mo and Miss Lana.  And I hope that there's another book about this cozy, folksy little town.

And the ghost part?  It's intriguing and, in the end, it's the stuff of fairy tales and happy endings.  Pan from the strings of lights to the twinkling stars, please.  Fade.

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