Rejoice, fans of the supernatural! Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner have edited a new anthology of stories about vamps, werewolves, ghosts and the like – this time with an educational slant. A new Sookie Stackhouse story has her getting into trouble just because she took cupcakes for her nephew to his school in Playing Possum. Ilona Andrews has a story called Magic Tests in which teenage Julie is asked by her guardian to infiltrate a boarding school and use her magic to find a young girl who’s disappeared. In VSI, by Nancy Holder,an FBI agent and her partner have been asked to join a secret Vampire Scene Investigations unit and while they are training learn some unpleasant lessons that hit too close to home. One of my favorites is Thomas E. Sniegoski’s The Bad Hour. A canine obedience school is haunted by an evil spirit and Remy Chandler and his Labrador, Marlowe, are called in on the case. Nine other stories take a skewed look at education. I enjoyed all of them but laughed my head off at the last, Pirate Dave and the Captain’s Ghost.
Harris and Kelner have collaborated on four other best-selling anthologies, each one themed around an aspect of ordinary life, but with ghosts, weres and vamps, they take a decidedly unordinary turn. The other books are all at the library: Many Bloody Returns, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, Death’s Excellent Vacation, and Home Improvement: Undead Edition. An Apple for the Creature is a worthy companion. Try any one or all of the books. They will introduce you to authors you don’t know and might like. I’ve been compelled to add Sniegoski and Andrews to my reading list. Find your favorite!