July 26, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero • July 11, 2017 • Doubleday Books
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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. finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

myreview

I received this book for free from Doubleday Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “She flung the door open to clamorous nonreaction, silhouetted down to a bulky jacket and a baseball cap, the blue wind blowing away the title card.”

Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you? We need some help from you now!

Any smart person will say, “stay far away!” from Blyton Hills. But not these kids—excuse me—adults. They’re detectives, through and through. They haven’t had their fill of sleuthing, especially since their last case—the Sleepy Lake case—continues to haunt them into adulthood. Time to bring the band together for old time’s sake. What could go wrong?

REASONS YOU SHOULD JOIN THE BLYTON SUMMER DETECTIVE CLUB IN MEDDLING KIDS

  • It plays homage to Scooby Doo and Lovecraft.

It’s Scooby Doo on crack. You’ve got all the familiar Scooby Doo references—a Scooby Doo like gang in the form of the Blyton Summer Detective Club (BSDC) who solves mysteries and have a large dog, names like Zoinx River Valley (Zoinks!) and red hair like Daphne, and plenty of more that I didn’t completely catch.

But then readers get a horror twist in the investigation. It’s almost like a mash-up of Scooby Doo with H.P. Lovecraft-esque creatures coming out of the woodworks. It’s “what happens if it’s not actually a guy in a mask terrorizing the town, but something really sinister and supernatural?” And it is magical.

  • You’ll have a group of seasoned veterans who know what they’re doing in their investigation of supernatural mysteries.

You will not meet another detective club as loyal and afraid as the Blyton Summer Detective Club. In 1977, they were kids investigating mysteries in their town and unmasking low lives during their summer. When they left, they were never quite the same. Thirteen years later, with many distance and years since they’ve last seen each other, these kids are all grown up and ready to get the band back together to put an end to the Sleepy Lake monster that has been haunting them since that Summer.

There is:

  • Andy, the tomboy with a temper who brings the BSDC together to confront their fears;
  • Kerri, the resident brainiac/scientist of the group who has developed a drinking problem;
  • Nate, the youngest and lover of horror who committed himself to mental institution;
  • Peter, the Golden Boy and original leader of BSDC who grew up to become a movie star but ended his life (he frequently appears in Nate’s hallucinations);
  • and Tim, their beloved dog who is the grandson of their original Weimaraner and goes everywhere that Kerri does.

They’re just coasting about their lives, fearful of what had happened during their last summer at Blyton Hills.

  • Sleepy Lake is rooted in old town folklore that may or may not be true.

Have you heard about the origin story of Blyton Hills with the first dwellers? Folklore tells of elusive people—creatures—who “shun the sun and moon…and live near water in underground caves” and worship Thtaggoa, the undergod in the Mount of Thunder.

Have you heard about Daniel Deboën, a prospector from the 1840s during the Gold Rush and his sorcery? He’s been the talk of Blyton Hills for centuries. He was said to have never aged one bit and that he was up to all types of sorcery.

All these folklores will intrigue you. You’ll want to know about all the stories that these people talk about.

  • Supernatural creatures are terrorizing Sleepy Lake and the Blyton Summer Detective Club.

Since…forever, creatures have been dying around Sleepy Lake. The townspeople of Blyton Hill blame RH corporation for poisoning the water because their greedy hands wanted the town. However, it is not as simply as men in suits. It’s something far sinister and supernatural than that.

Imagine creatures with scales, thorn-shaped teeth, webbed toes, and multiple limbs who will shriek and claw at you. They’re subterranean hellspawn demons that has come from god-knows-where, and it’s better to kill them before they kill you. I don’t do a justice describing them because Edgar Cantero does it beautifully in the story.

Should you read Meddling Kids? WELL DUH. Don’t you want to experience Scooby Doo nostalgia with a Lovecraft-esque twist? It honors both beautifully. Meddling Kids tells us what happens to these sleuths when they grow up. It is more about solving the mystery that has haunted them into their adulthood—one that isn’t a guy behind a mask. It’s about facing your fears even if it frightens you. It’s a nostalgia trip for everybody’s childhood and ridiculousness. It doesn’t reinvent or try anything completely new with the horror genre, but it’s fun! Meddling Kids is quite a trip.

If it weren’t for these meddling kids, masked men and supernatural creatures would continue to terrorize Sleepy Lake!


 

3 Responses to “REVIEW • Honor Thy Scooby Doo Gang (Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero)”

  1. Like, dig it, the Novel Hermit is grooving on Scoobs nostalgia.
    Ruh, roh, Raggy. Yee-hee-hee-hee!

  2. This book totally delivered on the Scooby-Doo nostalgia – so much so that I went back to watch some old episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? after finishing it! I’m not a horror fan, but this book was really good and a lot of fun, and I loved the unconventional use of langauge to show the more cartoonish side to things when events got more dire. Great Review!

    Helia @ Rose Quartz Reads

  3. Tasya says:

    THIS ONE SOUNDS AMAZING! Scooby Doo is definitely one of my favorite cartoons growing up, and I also see this book perfect for Welcome to Night Vale fans, so I’m definitely adding this to my tbr. Thanks for sharing!


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