Review | The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix


Patricia Campbell is your typical suburban housewife:  she always has a mile-long to-do list to keep the lives of her husband and two kids functioning smoothly (and it mostly goes unnoticed) and she’s recently taken on the care of her mother-in-law whose health is declining rapidly.

The one thing she has for herself is book club, a group of Charleston moms who enjoy obsessing over true-crime and relate over the trials of marriage and motherhood.  They help each other out in times of need and Patricia is grateful to have these women in her life.

When her elderly neighbor dies, Patricia’s southern manners determine she needs to take a casserole to James Harris, the grand-nephew taking care of the final arrangements.  She finds herself strangely attracted to the mysterious stranger at first but soon she can’t shake the feeling that there is something dangerous about the man.

James decides to stay in town and begins investing in the neighborhood which gains the trust of the residents and also earns them a great deal of money.

A chain of horrific events, including a bizarre incident that leads to her mother-in-law’s death and the disappearance of several children in nearby Six Mile, leads Patricia to believe James Harris is somehow involved.
James knows that Patricia is on to him.
He also knows that no one will believe her so he isn’t afraid to show her exactly what he is.

Patricia needs the help of her book club to rid them of James Harris once and for all.   These ladies may be willing to look away when death is on the other side of town, but when it arrives at their front door, they will stand up to the monster they invited into their homes.

“Patricia knew how they looked, a bunch of silly Southern women, yakking about books over white wine. A bunch of carpool drivers, skinned-knee kissers, errand runners, secret Santas and part-time tooth fairies, with their practical jeans and their festive sweaters. Think of us what you will, she thought, we made mistakes, and probably scarred our children for life, and we froze sandwiches, and forgot car pool, and got divorced. But when the time came, we went the distance.” *

Okay, be prepared for me to gush now.  I mean, I’ve been trying to thank of a coherent review here but all I’m coming up with is:  It’s so good y’all, read it!

Grady Hendrix has this signature style of blending pop culture, satire, and horror together.  He’s written a book about a teen in the 1980’s possessed by a demon who is saved by the power of friendship (and Phil Collins… I remember Phil Collins was mentioned in the exorcism) and a book about a former rock star determined to save her soul from the devil with the power of music.  Do they sound ridiculous and awesome at the same time?  Yesssss.

So when Quirk Books announced the upcoming release of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires with the blurb “Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula” I was like, how did I just realize I need this in my life?

 Hendrix writes in the author’s note: “With this book, I wanted to pit a man freed from all responsibilities but his appetites against women whose lives are shaped by their endless responsibilities.”

We underestimate women endlessly, especially those who fit the “middle age soccer mom” stereotype.  These are the women always behind the scenes, their work unnoticed or underappreciated.

With this book, Hendrix has given readers a look into their everyday lives with the unexpected thrill of learning what they’re capable of when a vampire moves in next door.

It’s an extremely bloody story about proper Southern ladies who are way too polite to forget their manners …until you mess with their children.

I adore Grady Hendrix and Quirk Books so this has been a highly anticipated read of 2020 for me!  Huuuuuge thanks to Quirk for providing me with an advance copy of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires in exchange for my honest review.  I can’t wait to read it with my own Southern book club following its release on April 7, 2020!

*Quote included is from a digital advance reader’s copy and is subject to change upon final publication.

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