BOOK REVIEW: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Quirk Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages:  410 Pages
Genre:  Southern Fiction /Vampires
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover


Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in.

Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.


Besides having a kick ass cover this book was a fun quick read.  I liked the twist on vampire lore, taking them back into the monstrous scary creatures they are and away from the sexy, alluring blood suckers of late.  As a feminist this was a difficult read in some respects because the way these women bow to their husbands made me a little bit insane but realizing this is the south and these are all society women whose husbands hold some esteem in the community their gentile ways are almost ingrained at birth.  

Patricia and her friends are more than just housewives though.  They have a passion for true crime books and when pushed will come through for each other and don't mess with their kids! I loved these women in the end and want to be a part of their pack.  They can slay demons, bake pies, and get blood out of just about anything. 

Hendrix has mastered comedic horror and I found his humor to be utterly charming and on point.  I loved that the men in this town all thought they were in control but it was the women cooking, cleaning, watching the kids and packing their clothes that had the real power and could see through slick costumes and promises.  

There weren't many but two places in particular that were cringeworthy that had me cowering in my chair, closing my eyes and shuddering.  Any writer that can evoke this type of reaction is worthy of all the praise they are given.  

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