Title: Meddling Kids
Author: Edgar Cantero
Pages: 322 Pages
Publisher: Titan Books
With raucous humour and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.
SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.
1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.
The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.
A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.
Meddling Kids is a classic crime story that has author Edgar Cantero harking back to mysteries of the past. Part Stranger Things, Scooby Doo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five Meddling Kids truly is a story to plunge yourself deep into and to let yourself go along for the ride because you really have no control in this book. None whatsoever.
With three of the four original members of the Blyton Summer Detective Club back together to solve one more mystery, we – the audience, are treated to a very clever plot development of what happened to our favourite childhood crime fighters when they got older. Cantero has cleverly looked at how life might turn out for them and take us on one last epic adventure.
Cantero doesn’t sugar coat things. He lets us know that our childhood heroes may have actually lived pretty insane lives and he recognises that the original audience has grown.
What I will say is that whilst I appreciate Cantero’s premise sometimes his delivery wasn’t as great as it could have been. We have laboured and even cheesy metaphors, aggravating alliteration and also the over use of authorial intrusion. In a book that seriously needs you to suspend your disbelief these things clashed together constantly reminding you that you were reading fiction rather than allowing you to immerse yourself in the story.
Meddling Kids was a great story in theory but sometimes the delivery let it down.
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is available now.
For more information regarding Edgar Cantero (@punkahoy) please visit www.punkahoy.blogspot.com.
For more information regarding Titan Books (@TitanBooks) please visit www.titanbooks.com.