Title: Meddling Kids
Author: Edgar Cantero
First published July 11, 2017
322 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780385541992 (ISBN10: 0385541996)
In the small town of Blyton Hills, Oregon, a group of teen detectives known as the Mystery Squad solved their final case in 1990. Years later, the once close-knit group has drifted apart.
Andy is on the run, Kerri is battling a drinking problem, and Nate is in and out of institutions. The only one still living a glamorous life is Peter, but he’s been dead for years.
Now, the Mystery Squad must come together again to confront the real monsters that have haunted them since their last case. It’s time to face their fears and solve the mystery once and for all.
But this time, the danger is all too real.
About the Author
Welcome to the latest updates on Edgar – a talented writer and cartoonist hailing from Barcelona. Starting his career as a promising author in the local scene with his award-winning debut Dormir amb Winona Ryder in 2007, he soon shifted his focus from the highbrow Catalan literary tradition to Hollywood blockbusters, videogames, and mass-market paperbacks.
Edgar’s last book in Catalan was the punk dystopian thriller in 2011, after which he switched to English with his paranormal thriller in 2014. His Enid Blyton-meets-Lovecraft horror-comedy mashup in 2017 became an instant New York Times bestseller.
Following this, he released the noir spoof in 2018, featuring the chimeric investigator(s) A.Z. Kimrean.
Edgar’s material spans across three different languages and includes a range of formats from short stories to screenplays. His work is characterized by women kissing, stuff exploding, and ill-timed jokes.
Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a delightful and nostalgic love letter to the classic children’s mystery series, with a twist. Published on July 11, 2017, this novel follows a group of teenage detectives, the Blyton Summer Detective Club, as they reunite years after their last case to uncover the truth behind a paranormal mystery that haunted them in their youth.
Cantero’s writing style is charmingly witty and reminiscent of the children’s books he pays homage to. The novel is filled with references to iconic mystery series like Scooby-Doo, with witty one-liners and clever nods to nostalgic pop culture.
The story is set in the fictional town of Blyton Hills, a seemingly sleepy town with a dark history. The characters are a diverse and quirky mix, each with their own unique qualities that make them interesting and endearing.
The conflict arises when the group must face their childhood fears and solve the mystery they never fully resolved. One of the strengths of Meddling Kids is its lighthearted and playful tone, making it a perfect summer read.
Cantero perfectly balances humor with genuine scares, keeping the reader engaged and invested throughout the novel. The ending is satisfying, providing a fitting conclusion to the mystery without feeling cheap or cliché.
However, the novel’s greatest weakness lies in its pacing. At times the story drags, losing focus and momentum.
The novel is also quite dense, making it a challenging read at times. In terms of themes, Meddling Kids touches on the struggles of growing up and coming to terms with a difficult past.
The novel also delves into complex themes of mental health and trauma, adding depth and nuance to the narrative. Overall, Meddling Kids is a witty and clever tribute to classic children’s mysteries, while simultaneously being a modern and refreshing take on the genre.
It is perfect for fans of nostalgic pop culture and those who enjoy a good mystery. Despite its pacing issues, it is a fun and entertaining read that any lover of the mystery genre should give a chance.
Rating: 4/5 stars.