About a month ago my older daughter texted me saying, “Meddling Kids is hilarious. Nancy Drew and Scooby Doo flashbacks galore. With a lot more ass kicking!” I think that just about sums it up. This book is a totally delicious nostalgic romp through the best cartoon shows and books of childhood but edgier and with some “bad words,” making it a totally grown up read!
In the summer of 1977, the Blyton Summer Detective Club composed of Andy, the tomboy Kerri, the genius, and her dog Sean, along with Nate, the horror nerd, and Peter the handsome jock, solved their last case. Officially they were credited with unmasking the low life fortune hunter who had been “haunting” Deboën Mansion, and he might have gotten away with a small fortune if it hadn’t been for these kids and their meddling.
Now it is 1990 and the tight little group has scattered and no longer keeps in touch. But Andy, who has been haunted by strange visions and disturbing memories of what happened in the summer of 1977, finally decides that it is time to reunite with the members of the Detective Club and see if they can’t find closure for the things they experienced so long ago. Driving her decrepit car to New York, Andy, who is wanted by the law in two states, arrives at Kerri’s door step, to persuade her to join in her plan. It quickly becomes clear that Andy is not the only one dealing with the aftermath of what they experienced that summer. Keri, who had shown such great promise as a scientist is now drinking her days away while her dog Tim, the great grandson of Sean, watches stoically. Kerri, after much persuasion falls in with the plan and the two women make their way to the asylum where Nate has committed himself. Unbeknownst to the two women, Nate continues to have periodic contact with Peter, even though Peter, a rising star in Hollywood, committed suicide quite a few years earlier. A further indication that whatever happened to them as children has had lasting ill effects! After busting Nate out of the asylum, the newly reconstituted Detective Club heads for Blyton Hills to confront their fears and whatever demons still linger there.
Cantero hits all the right notes in this funny, scary and addictive story. It is an incredibly risky feat, because one false note, or one to many campy references could make what is charming and nostalgic, into something treacly and yawn inducing. The characters although somewhat loosely based on well known characters from childhood, avoid being caricatures and are fully defined in their own right. Smart and sassy dialogue and an engrossing plot line round out an exciting, fun and very satisfying update to those wonderful memories of childhood!
Brenda’s Rating: *****(5 out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to? Keith, Ken, Marian, Lauren and Sharon
Book Study Worthy! Yes!
Read in ebook format.