NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Freaky pleasure...it scratches a nostalgic itch for those who grew up on Saturday morning Scooby-Doo cartoons and sugar-bombed breakfast cereal"
"Deliriously wild, funny and imaginative. Cantero is an original voice."
--Charles Yu, author of How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe
With raucous humor 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.
Cantero (The Supernatural Enhancements) will win readers' hearts with this goofy, smart love letter to childhood adventure and enduring friendship. It's 1990, 13 years since the Blyton Summer Detective Club of Blyton Hills, Ore., solved the case of the Sleepy Lake monster. It was their last case, and now there are only four of them left: Andrea "Andy" Rodriguez, who is wanted in more than one state; bartender Kerri Hollis; Kerri's excitable Weimaraner, Tim; and Kerri's cousin, nerdy Nate Rogers. Peter Manner is missing, having supposedly committed suicide. Andy thinks there's more to learn about the monster and convinces Kerri and Nate to return to Sleepy Lake, a scene of horror that's shadowed their adult lives. When the four arrive at Sleepy Lake, they're almost immediately attacked by terrifying lake creatures. Scooby Doo touches abound: there's a nearby river called the Zoinx, Tim the dog is as much of a character as the humans, and they have pitch-perfect chase scenes through an underground mine and the haunted Debo n Mansion. There are Lovecraftian tentacles aplenty, and the villain is a powerful sorcerer who plans to summon a world-ending leviathan. The prose is fast and funny, and the quirky, lovable characters are absolutely irresistible.
Customer ReviewsSee All
so well written
just an amazing book, well written and just lively. worth a read
Quasi 'Scooby Gang' kicks demon a**
So back in 77, the plucky kids of the Blyton Summer Detective Club unmasked another bumbling crook, but in doing so they wandered into a supernatural nightmare that could bring on the Apocalypse. After thirteen years and a bunch of hard luck, they head back to the scene of the crime to set things right. That premise was enough to lure me in, but my quick attachment to Cantero's characters, with their fraught relationships and tragic lives, really surprised me. Plus, Tim the Weimaraner may be the best mildly anthropomorphized canine companion ever. There's blood & guts action, dark humor, and genuine scares galore here. One of the most entertaining books I've read in ages.
I believe that good fantasy should be believable characters reacting as real people would in extraordinary settings. Everyone in the book is a hyperbolic cliché. The plot takes a mish mash of stolen H.P. Lovecraft and Scooby themes and turns what could have been fun and nostalgic into a hot mess full of unbelievable scenes. For example, a Sheriff's Department allowing a person who has taken some biology classes to perform an autopsy on the corpse of a being completely unknown to science? Disappointing and unbelievable.