Meddling Kids

Meddling Kids

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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"Freaky scratches a nostalgic itch for those who grew up on Saturday morning Scooby-Doo cartoons and sugar-bombed breakfast cereal"
--USA Today

"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.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2017]
ISBN: 9780385542005
Characteristics: text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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DPLchandra Apr 13, 2018

Mystery Inc grown up! For anyone that loved Scooby Doo as a child, you'll love the connections to this book. Great fun, and just the right amount of scary.

CMLibrary_gjd_0 Mar 05, 2018

As others have stated; looks like it'd be good for the family, but really has adult themes throughout. The author, even though not American, obviously watched a great deal of American TV during his formative years. This rip roaring tale of former youth detectives takes a strange and wondrous turn in this very original story. If you like mysteries with mayhem and a little sci-fi thrown in the mix, you should read this one today. I mean really; the river near town is called Zoinx River--the homage is hardly subtle, but totally inventive.

JessicaGma Feb 20, 2018

A very clever premise where the "Scooby Doo Gang" is grown up and revisits the scene of their last case, which haunts them all still in various guises. There's a lot of clever hat tips to Scooby Doo, and other mysteries written for children. I liked the snark and humour.

Feb 05, 2018

Meddling Kids is a fast paced, vividly imaginative mystery for adults. The novel is Stranger Things meets Scooby-Doo for kids all grown up. Easy to read, entertaining, and humorous. Occasionally the authors descriptions of fights drag on and on and becomes somewhat monotonous; as if he is describing a movie fight scene movement-for-movement. Regardless, I would recommend this to anyone who wants an escape into a reality that combines the supernatural with ancient folklore.

Jan 05, 2018

A fun book to begin my Christmas break. Scooby Doo all grown up in ways you might not expect. Thoroughly engaging.

Dec 08, 2017

My family loves Scooby Doo. We've watched pretty much everything - good or really, really bad (I'm looking at you Scrappy) - and when I caught wind that this was coming out I was pumped. I wasn't disappointed. Anybody who appreciated the more Lovecraftian bent of Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated! will be right at home here, cuz things go thoroughly Cthulic something fierce. A fun read with lots of clever bits, wicked dialogue, and plenty of literary playfulness. Groovy.

First off, while the title may make you think this would be appropriate to listen to with your kids, the content isn’t for young listeners. This is Scooby-Doo for grownups. While the characters names are different you can definitely recognize the similarities. This was a fun, campy flashback to the days with the Mystery Machine. These characters are screwed up adults who believe they left their best years behind them with their last case and now they are finally going back to figure out what went wrong. I loved the nostalgia, and the relationships between the characters. This is a fun book for anyone who likes action packed mysteries with some mild horror. I think the dog was my favorite character!

orchids3lady Oct 12, 2017

Not a great book but a thoroughly enjoyable romp and an easy read. If you ever wondered what "Scooby and the Gang" did when they grew up, here is the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills Mining community) 13 years after their last mystery which they solved when they were kids. Except Scooby is "Tim" the Weimaraner and none of the gang (Kerri, Nate, Andy and Peter) grew up quite how they expected; Kerri is an alcoholic, Nate institutionalized in a mental institute, Andy is a felon wanted in two states, and Peter, dead by suicide. They are all haunted by the events of 13 years ago during their last case and decide to get back together again to face their demons and get some answers.

Sep 28, 2017

The title of the book itself lets you know that this book is going to be an ode to a certain well-loved show from the past. And it is. Gloriously so. However, Meddling Kids is also blessedly its own book. It’s mouthy, irreverent, and considerably darker than the well from which it sprang. None of the characters had the lives they expected to have after they grew up. They’re all broken in various ways. And they’ve finally had enough. They need to fix their past before they can continue on with their future.

The only way to do that is to revisit the last case they investigated together.

Sometimes the monster isn’t just a man in the mask. And sometimes happy endings aren’t really happy endings. The Blyton Summer Detective Club learns many things about themselves and the town where they spent so many summers in Meddling Kids.

Meddling Kids is a mystery and action filled romp with a Lovecraftian twist to things, soundly tempered with comedy. There are epic fight scenes, run for your lives scenes, dramatic hero scenes, and at least one moment of “We’re screwed!’ The story propels itself along relentlessly. But it’s also a book about taking control of your life. About stepping out of the role you were slotted into. And, of course, about not being afraid to take charge and kick arse if it needs kicking.

I absolutely love Cantero’s ability to turn a phrase. Some of his lines had me cracking up.

However, the author also made some salient points along the way too.

“How is that an excuse?!” Andy howled. “Why do all bullies think they can get away with ‘I was a kid’? Guess what: I was a kid too, and I didn’t make other people feel like (crap). You were not a kid, you were an (expletive)!”

I wanted to give the author a standing ovation for that particular line. Now if only we can get people start using it against bullies in reality. “Just a kid” excuses a lot of things, but not making other kids’ lives miserable.

For 98% of it, Meddling Kids is a fantastic read. The only real pick I have with the author’s writing, in general, is that his fight scenes need some work. The action in them is fine, but there was one (kindle) page that didn’t have a single period on it. It was all one big sentence. That was a bit hard to read! Still, it’s a fairly minor thing.

But… there was that last scene. The last scene disappointed me. We had this great story, epic battle, suitable creepiness, fantastic dialogue… and then…it happened.

See, Tim, the Weimaraner, was my favorite character in the book. The author very much writes him as if he’s an important character in the book. He’s filled with personality, gives ‘input’ into conversations, and is just a fine, upstanding old chap. His relationship with a certain squeaky toy is adorable. I don’t even particularly care for Weimerarners, and I wanted to reach into the book and pull Tim out so he could be my dog.

An example of how Tim was written:
Tim smugly trotted off the scene to tell his penguin everything was fine.

So, when the author decides to give us one last bit of information about Tim, all I can ask is “Why”? I don’t understand the inclusion. It wasn’t tying up a thread that needed to be tied up. All it did was add an unneeded explanation that took away some of the charms of a perfectly lovely animal. Bah!

Overall, though, I loved Meddling Kids. It brought back some great Saturday morning memories but tempered them with the type of humor that fits the adult me. The Lovecraftian bent made the horror hound in me super happy too. It’s not a light and fluffy read, but it is a bloody, funny one!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.

JCLCourtneyS Sep 15, 2017

Come for the nostalgia and pop culture references, stay for the inventive humor and deft play with words. If you've always thought the adventures of Scooby and his gang were a little light on the Lovecraftian plot points, this is the book for you.

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Add Age Suitability

Oct 31, 2017

spectacularone thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

orchids3lady Oct 12, 2017

orchids3lady thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Sep 28, 2017

scifiandscary thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 19, 2017

Citizen92116 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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CMLibrary_gjd_0 Mar 05, 2018

pg 140 Tim complained vigorously about the smell, and everybody else turned away, sleeves under their noses, mentioning several biblical characters by first name.
pg 232 They remained on the knoll for a while, under the magical spell of things going kablooey in the night.
pg 237 And the room he noticed, wasn't that big: Rediscovery Shrinkage
pg 251 The straw that breaks the camel's back always looks light enough, until it lands.

ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 05, 2017

"Dramatically opening doors was one of Andy's few natural talents."


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