Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. The opening of the book sees the members of the Blyton Summer Detective Club (BSDC) as adults, and reveals their childhood stories in non-linear episodes. Did you find that this technique created suspense and mystery? How else does Cantero build tension throughout the book?
2. What did you make of BSDC’s choice to go back to Blyton Hills and return to the Deboën Mansion? Would you have made the same decision?
3. For years, Nate has been plagued by hallucinations of the deceased Peter. However, Peter has a real impact on Nate’s choices and actions. How reliable do you consider Nate’s interactions with Peter to be? Are they a figment of imagination or is Peter still an active member of the group?
4. The narrator in Meddling Kids has a very distinct voice and personality. Did you find yourself connecting with the voice? What did the narrative voice add to your reading experience?
5. Meddling Kids draws on archetypes from The Hardy Boys, The Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo—how did your knowledge of characters from those works inform your reading of the novel?
6. The supernatural plot in the book borrows heavily from cosmic horror, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Cthulhu Mythos. How much of those inspirations can you recognize in the scenarios, the props, even the supporting characters in Meddling Kids?
7. Which member of the BSDC do you identify most with? Why?
8. The character of Dunia Deboën, even after the final revelations, is shrouded in mystery: by the end, we know tidbits from her past, but nothing about her true origins–and her future is left open as well. Do you like this ambiguity? Do you think it’s intentional?
9. Were you surprised by the ending of Meddling Kids? If so, what did you expect to happen?