Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Doubleday (July 2017)
336 pages; $18.32 hardback; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms
If you need to ask where the title of this book comes from, you’re probably too young to understand the references within (unless you enjoy classic reruns of the great cartoon), but not too young to enjoy this fun story, which is pure entertainment.
Edgar Cantero is very careful not to name the cartoon he lampoons here (it rhymes with Roobie Roo) but he’s penned a crackerjack story which is pure gold for fans of the great Saturday morning cartoons of the seventies and eighties. The references within will transport readers back decades with laughs and head shakes as childhoods come roaring back to life.
The gang of mystery fighters, in their new mobile, are at it again—thirteen years later. The Blyton Summer Detective Club has somewhat fallen apart after the Sleepy Lake monster case, where another scummy criminal was unmasked and sent to prison after being foiled by those… well, you know.
Yet something else might have been active in the case other than the criminal. Something which feels somewhat… Lovecraftian?
Andy, the tomboy and all-around kickass girl, is on the lam and seeking the rest of the gang. Kerri, the genius, now drinks away her days with her loyal dog (same breed, in case you’re wondering). They find Nate, the oddball, in a mental hospital, still recovering from events only he believes were real. Peter, the leader of the gang, is still around, albeit only visible to Nate, which makes sense, as Peter killed himself years ago.
This story is one that fans of the original gang will love, with horror and cartoon references abounding everywhere. It’s what we expect to read about all these years later. Prepare to read through this fun novel with a grin and hands gripping the pages. Here’s to hoping Edgar Cantaro keeps the story going in the future.