The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing: A Book Review


The Ghosts of Tupelo LandingTitle: The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

Author: Shelia Turnage

Published: February 4th, 2014 by Kathy Dawson Books

Pages: 368

Genre: Middle Grade / Mystery

Source: Library / Hardcover

Series: Tupelo Landing {no clue what this series is called, but we’ll roll with it!}: Book One

Summary: When Miss Lana makes an Accidental Bid at the Tupelo auction and winds up the mortified owner of an old inn, she doesn’t realize there’s a ghost in the fine print. Naturally, Desperado Detective Agency {aka Mo and Dale} opens a paranormal division to solve the mystery of the ghost’s identity. They’ve got to figure out who the ghost is so they can interview it for their history assignment {extra credit}. But Mo and Dale start to realize that the Inn isn’t the only haunted place in Tupelo Landing. People can also be haunted by their own past. As Mo and Dale handily track down the truth about the ghost {with some help from the new kid in town}, they discover the truth about a great many other people, too. {from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: Middle grade mysteries are my go-to when I am in a reading slump. That fact is quite evident when you take a peek at my book review archives; I usually give them higher ratings {like this one, this one, and this one!}. One of the better ones I read last year was the delightful Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage, and I was so excited to visit the small town again in the newly released sequel, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. It was the perfect combination of charming small details, humor, and suspense. I can only hope that a third book is on its way soon! 

Mo and Dale are fresh off of their first case as detectives, and they are hoping for another big break. Meanwhile, the town is buzzing with the anticipation of a large auction. When Miss Lana accidentally {in a way} bids on an old inn at the auction, she not only gains the building, she also becomes the owner of an uncertified ghost. Sounds like the perfect case for the Desperado Detective Agency, does it not?! What I love about these books are that the mysteries never seem overly complicated at first sight, but you can tell that a lot of development and thinking went it. Of course, you have to suspend your disbelief a little bit – there’s a ghost involved with no one behind it! Even so, I can definitely say that the intended audience will enjoy it, but of course, that is not to say any age can’t like it! 

Mo is the best. She has lots of spunk and intelligence, and because of that, she often reminds me of some of my favorite literary characters {Scout Finch, anyone?}. I love seeing her interact with Dale, as you can tell that the friendship is genuine, and that they really care for one another. I love when authors have the ability to create such meaningful connections like that. On the other hand, there were some newly introduced characters that I felt deserved a tad more spotlight/attention. Not because they didn’t work with the story {meaning they eventually had a part}, it was more that it took me a while to really get who they were and/or their purpose in the plot. 

The setting of these books has always puzzled me. I can never figure out what year it is set in! Nevertheless, Shelia Turnage did a terrific job immersing the reader within the setting.  I would love to visit such a cute town as Tupelo Landing! From how everyone knows each other by name to the darling shops and other places, I couldn’t think of a better community for Mo and Dale’s adventures to happen.

Overall, I truly enjoyed The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, not that I expected to like it any less than the first book! I totally recommend this to any mystery fan, but readers of the middle grade genre might like it as well. Have you read either of the books? Because if you haven’t, we should fix that :)

Pros: The main character is developed and very realistic, and the author did a great job crafting the relationships among the people of Tupelo Landing. The mystery is also the perfect blend of complication and simplicity. 

Cons: I do wish some of the new supporting characters had more purpose earlier in the book, but considering that is my only compliant, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. 

Heads Up: Nothing noteworthy.

Overall: I give it 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2}, and I recommend it for ages 11 and up.

Have a happy Tuesday!

2 thoughts on “The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing: A Book Review

  1. […] Just as autumn itself screams historical fiction, October certainly requires a heavy dose of mystery! More often than not, I prefer a cute middle grade mystery over a chilling YA thriller {I’m not one for scary stories}, so I can’t wait for Sheila Turnage’s new book, The Odds of Getting Even. The latest installment of young detectives, Mo and Dale, I’m expecting haunting clues, small-town charm, and plenty of timeless fun to go around. {reviews: 1 / 2} […]


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