Imagine what a story would be like if you had 4 kids and their dog who went around solving mysteries. Each time they solved a mystery they discovered that the culprit was someone in a fake monster suit. Does this sound familiar? This book isn’t about that group of detectives, this story is about the Blyton Summer Detective Club. Back in 1977 they solved their last case throwing a man in jail for pretending to be a lake monster and life hasn’t been the same since.
Kerri went on to become a biologist but can’t seem to hold onto a job and she still lives with a dog who is the descendent of the club’s original dog. Andy is a tomboy wanted in two states who can’t get over the fact that they sent the wrong man to prison. Peter has died of a drug overdose and Nate has been in and out of mental asylums and still talks to Peter’s ghost. All of them are broken adults and the only way to put the past behind them is to return to the scene of their last case and confront the real life monsters at the bottom of the lake.
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is what you get when you combine Scooby Doo with H.P. Lovecraft. Hearing the description of this book, I considered it a must read and despite some flaws, it doesn’t disappoint. What makes it stand out is how the story unfolds. In the beginning you hear about how the detective’s last adventure was an open and shut case. Then you see how all of them are damaged in their own way and you realize that there is more to it then meets the eye. You could say that the main idea of this book is about facing your fears. Each of the main characters tried to deny the truth about what happened and acted like they were fine but the truth ruined them and 13 years later they had to face their fears to be able to move on.
The thing I didn’t like about Meddling Kids was that it felt like it needed a good editor. Some parts felt dragged out. For instance, there was a scene in a mine shaft that was long and unnecessary, I couldn’t figure out why they had to go down there in the first place. Then there was a scene where Nate reads a passage from an ancient text to bring the lake creatures to life where I was wondering “why is he doing that and why aren’t the others stopping him.” Also, Andy’s obsession with Kerri’s hair really got on my nerves after a while.
That being said, this book is worth your time if you like a good mix of horror and humor. The detail that goes into the characters lives shows that Edgar Cantero has a real passion for his creations. It’s like he sat down and said “I wonder what the Scooby gang would be like in real life” and came out with a very detailed description of all of them. What I liked most about this book is that the author gives a mythological explanation for what is going on and he also gets into a scientific explanation as well. There is one scene where Nate and Kerri are arguing about the reason for what’s happening with one talking science and one blaming everything on old gods and ancient texts that make this a must read.