cover image Small Kingdoms and Other Stories

Small Kingdoms and Other Stories

Charlaine Harris. Subterranean, $40 (136p) ISBN 978-1-59606-921-3

The four stories in this slight collection from bestseller Harris (the Southern Vampire mysteries) center on Anne DeWitt, the principal of Travis High School in Colleton County, N.C. Under a different name, Anne was once an instructor at a secret training program that taught students “to be masters of close fighting”; many of them became “wonderful killers.” After a well-connected pupil died during the rigorous program, Anne was fired and given a new identity. But her past returns to haunt her in the title tale, when a murderous intruder enters her home. She overcomes him with ease and succeeds in concealing the corpse, only to find that her secrets are known to Holt Halsey, Travis High’s baseball coach. Holt, who was also fired from the same program, helps Anne learn why she was attacked, and the two join forces to wreak justice on deserving miscreants connected with Travis. Harris does provide a clever twist in “Sarah Smiles,” in which a star pupil is the victim of physical abuse. Those who like violence conveyed with a light touch will be most satisfied. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, Jabberwocky Literary. (May)