Book Review: Meddling Kids

MEDDLING KIDS | Edgar Cantero
Doubleday Books | 07.11.2017
Rating: 4/5 stars

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The year is 1990 and thirteen years have passed since the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their greatest case, the mystery of the Sleepy Lake Monster. Things have never been the same for the kid detectives, as tragedy and brokenness has overtaken their lives. The smiling faces from 1977’s newspaper story in the Pennaquick Telegraph, have changed quite a bit over the years. Andrea “Andy” Rodriguez was and still is the tomboy of the group. She’s also on the run from the law after breaking out of prison. Kerri, known as the kid genius of the group, has become a bartender in New York, forgoing her dreams of becoming a biologist.  Companion to Kerri, is Tim, the extremely upbeat great-grandson of the original Weimaraner who tagged along with the club. Nate, the horror know-it-all, has been in and out of mental institutions since the case ended and is currently in the middle of another stint. He still sees the final member of the detective club, Peter, the all American jock turned movie star. That’s sounds great, except the issues is, Peter died years ago from an overdose.

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Teen Sleuths Unmask Sleepy Lake Monster!

The man the detective club unmasked all those years ago, Wickley, has been released. Andy makes a point to go visit him on his first day free from prison. What she discovers is a weak, nervous old man, who could never have committed the terrifying events linked to the case they put to rest in 1977. Andy is determined to discover the true meaning behind those events and find the person who was responsible. After much convincing, the club reassembles and heads back to Blyton Hills. This mystery soon becomes much more than they were expecting. Instead of a guy in a mask, there are real monsters waiting for the detectives.

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You are the fraud, Wickley. You’re nothing but a careless gold digger. You want me to believe you went to all that trouble just to scare people? The mystic symbols? The dead animals?

Cantero delivers an exhilarating ride to the reader, full of mystery, horror, friendship, and good old campy fun! Marketed as a mix of H.P. Lovecraft and Scooby Doo, the comparisons live up to the expectations. Despite loving all of the characters and the novel as a whole, I wasn’t able to give a 5 star rating because of some formatting issues that caused me hang ups while reading. Cantero fluctuates between a straight narrative and what could be compared to a screenplay format, complete with stage directions. The change in style in random throughout the novel and does not lend a benefit to the book, it instead is distracting and out of place. This is not for someone looking for an intense psychological thriller or horror book, but would be perfect for anyone looking for a fun and mysterious read! Fully of characters a reader can’t help but want to get to know better and a story that truly draws you in, I would gladly recommend MEDDLING KIDS!

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Thank you to Doubleday Books, Edgar Cantero, and NetGalley for providing me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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