Contemporary · Diverse · Horror · LGBTQA+ · Mystery · Paranormal · Review · Thriller

Book Review: Meddling Kids

Okay, I will admit that this was originally a cover buy. I mean, just look at the gorgeousness of it! But either way, Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero was a really fun read and totally worth the money. Add this to the list of stories actually worth their amazing cover!

For fans of John Dies at the End and Welcome to Night Vale comes a tour de force of horror, humor, and H.P. Lovecraft. The surviving members of a forgotten teenage detective club (and their dog) must reunite as broken adults to finally solve the terrifying case that ruined them all and sent the wrong man to prison. Scooby Doo and the gang never had to do this!

1990. The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven’t seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter’s been dead for years.

The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.

With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids taps into our shared nostalgia for the books and cartoons we grew up with, and delivers an exuberant, eclectic, and highly entertaining celebration of horror, life, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

I think the biggest problem most people will have when they pick this book up, is going to be the writing style. Cantero gets a little crazy with his writing. You will notice immediately that he likes to make up his own words like, “tragichuckled” or “triviaed”. This isn’t really a terrible thing, it just easily gets annoying after a while. He’s also very fond of getting a little ambitious with his similes. I couldn’t the exact example that I was thinking of, but they’re quite easy to spot. If you don’t mind a kooky writing style and enjoy a little bit of silliness, then you’ll probably like this one!

If you’re looking for a diverse adult horror story, this is a good place to start. You have a lesbian Latina and boy with mental illness who suffers from hallucinations (I don’t believe it was ever classified as a particular illness). I can’t comment on whether the representation is good or bad, but I haven’t read of anyone having a problem with it. If you have, please feel free to share those issues in the comments!

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I think each of the characters had very distinct personalities, especially Andy. However, I do feel that Andy’s intense feelings for Kerri that were constantly being brought up, kind of pushed me into not really liking her. It just seemed like any time that Kerri was mentioned, it was emphasized how beautiful she was or how gorgeous her hair looked (she’s a redhead). In the end, it was a distraction from Andy’s tough girl persona and made me find Kerri annoying. My favorite one of the group was Nate. I loved getting inside his head and being able to experience his hallucinations along with him. He had a dry personality and humor that I really enjoyed. As for Tim, well his love for the squeaky toy penguin is the stuff relationships are made of. WE HAVE FINALLY FOUND TRUE LOVE, FOLKS!

Plot-wise, this story so much fun! You’re immediately pulled into this mystery from the very first chapter. The story might feel a little slow before they make the journey back to Blyton Hills, but once they do, I couldn’t put my book down. You never know what’s going to happen next! It was just the right amount of spooky, suspenseful and fun. Sounds perfect for Halloween, right?!

While I did have some issues with the story, it wasn’t enough to distract me from enjoying this book. It’s one of those stories that you can instantly connect with, thanks to a nice helping of nostalgia (for Scooby Doo fans, at least!). If you’re looking for a fresh take on the adult horror genre, I definitely recommend this one.

Overall Verdict: 4/5 Stars


Have you ever bought a book because of its cover? Did the story live it up to it? Have you read Meddling Kids? If so, what did you think of it? 

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Meddling Kids

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