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

‘Why do you pretend what we do is nothing?’ She asked? ‘Every day, all the chaos and messiness of life happens and every day we clean it all up. Without us, they would just wallow in filth and disorder and nothing of any consequence would ever get done. Who taught you to sneer at that? I’ll tell you who. Someone who took their mother for granted.’ grace glared at Patricia, nostrils flaring.

The next Spooktober read features yet another vampire! What can I say, I love vampires.


Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community. Summary from Goodreads.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book.

Hendrix was able to capture the time period with a vampy twist. I read the forward before the story, which I rarely do. If you have not, go back and check it out. It frames the story perfectly.

Hendrix painted the horrors of the housewife, racism, and the arrogance of men alongside that of a vampire. It all flowed together perfectly. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires will not keep you up at night but will keep you on your toes as you discover which monsters lurk in the shadows.

Sometimes other children say they see a white man standing at the edge of the woods, waving to them. Some people wake up and say they see a pale man staring in through their window screens…

While I thought this story would focus more heavily on vampires, it did not. Instead, the story follows Patricia and the vampire’s ability to thrive off others. I was shocked to find the timeline of the story stretches over years! It was unsettling to see the lasting effects a polite monster can have on a community. The timeline made the story all the more tragic and believable. You will question what makes a monster and what makes a friend—as most stories within the horror genre do.

Patricia realized that was why Miss Mary let the peaches rot.

More on the vampire. I enjoyed some of the traditional aspects of Hendrix’s vampire. The vampire was able to control animals, needed blood to survive, charmed/creeped people out. The vampire also left his victims in a strange state that reminded me of Lucy from Dracula.

Overall, believable, enjoyable, creepy, and has just enough gore for any reader to enjoy.

Should you read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires?

Hands down yes! This is the perfect book to enjoy the spooky season.


  1. Dennis Mitton

    It’s way out of my genre but takes place in my back yard so had to read it. Again – I’m not up on the genre – but I thought the vampire with contrived and expected and thought the last chapters drug. But clearly readable and enjoyable. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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