Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Available: Hardcover, Kindle edition, audiobook
If you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, the title of this book tells you exactly up to expect, but even if you don’t pick up on the reference, Meddling Kids is a fun, suspenseful read.
The Blyton Summer Detective Club fell apart after the Sleepy Lake monster case, when another scummy criminal was unmasked and sent to prison after being foiled by those… well, you know. Now, 13 years later, Andy, the kickass girl of the team, is on the lam, and seeking out the rest of the gang of mystery fighters; Kerri, the genius, now drinks away her days with her loyal dog at her side; Nate, the oddball is in a mental hospital, recovering from the events he believes were real; and Peter, the leader of the group, who killed himself years ago and is now visible only to Nate. Gathered together again, they learn that something else might have been active in their last case, other than the criminal they caught… something that feels somewhat Lovecraftian.
Edgar Cantero is very careful not to name the cartoon he lampoons here (it rhymes with Roobie Roo), but he has penned a crackerjack story that, for the kids of the 1970s and 1980s who grew up watching the show on Saturday mornings, is pure gold. The novel’s references to the cartoon will transport fans of the show back decades, with plenty of laughs and headshakes.
Fans who grew up with the original gang will love the story, with horror and cartoon references abounding. It’s exactly what we expect to read about the future of the characters from this favorite show. Prepare to read through this book with a grin on your face and hands gripping the pages. Here’s hoping that Edgar Cantero keeps the adventures coming.
Reviewed by Dave Simms