cover image Dead but Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse

Dead but Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse

Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. Berkley, $26.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-425-27174-2

For fans mourning the end of Harris's popular Southern Vampire Mysteries series, Harris and Kelner (Games Creatures Play) have assembled a collection of stories that take place on the periphery, in the cracks, or between previously chronicled events. Series protagonist Sookie herself is nowhere to be seen; these 15 offerings feature secondary characters and breathe life into other corners of the setting. Vampire Bubba reclaims a touch of his musical past, werewolf Mustapha fights for his life, ex-bartender Desiree Dumas tries to escape her sordid history, diary entries reveal Sookie's grandmother's long-held secrets, and Eric Northman finds himself 200 years in the future, still unable to escape Sookie's influence. Standouts include Rachel Caine's "Nobody's Business," about the romance between officers Kevin Pryor and Kenya Jones; Suzanne MacLeod's "The Bat-Signal," featuring werebat Luna Garza; and "The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars" by Dana Cameron, which gives vampire Pam the spotlight. These aren't game-changing tales, merely unseen adventures that give Sookie's world a little more complexity and depth, but they're entertaining and sometimes revelatory. In some ways, this feels like a farewell tour of the series, involving a jam session with top-notch musicians playing as the credits roll. (Dec.)