Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is an intriguing mash-up of genres. As the title suggests, its primary influence is such “kid detective” series as Scooby Doo. (In fact, a villain actually says, “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”) By necessity, there are also shades of other stories in the genre, such as Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. In large part, the book is a love letter to those stories, so anyone who grew up reading those (myself included) will find much to love here.
The novel’s plot centers on the team of erstwhile kid detectives revisiting an old case. As events progress, it becomes clearer and clearer that there was more going on than just a guy in a costume impersonating a monster. The main characters now find themselves dealing with a cosmic/Lovecraftian horror story. Cantero skillfully handles the melding of styles without allowing either one to completely overwhelm the other.
I did have one stylistic complaint. At times, the narration switches into screenplay style without any real reason. This was jarring and pulled me out of the story whenever it happened. Aside from this flaw, I enjoyed the book.