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

After reading Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friends’s Exorcism two years ago, I was delighted to see that Hendrix had released a new book. I suppose I may be a tad biased, because both books take place near where I grew up and currently still live.

I’ve seen this book described as “Steel Magnolias combined with Dracula.” Um, sorry. Nope. These are real southern housewives in the early 90s. They have oppressive husbands who treat them as sweet southern belles, not to be taken seriously. The women’s biggest job is keeping up appearances.

I especially loved the beginning, when the book club forms. The women are give a high brow book to discuss that no one actually reads. Watching the main character try to voice her ideas on a book she hasn’t read is all too relatable. Eventually the women go on to read true crimes books, such as Helter Skelter. In the end, their true crime knowledge comes in handy when they plot to go after the bad guy.

The first victims are Black children from a poorer part of town. Due to the victims’ skin color, and their family’s lack of wealth, neither the police nor the media take an interest. I fear not much has changed here in that respect. The only difference is the Black neighborhood has been ‘gentrified.’

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a fun and engaging romp with an undercurrent of exposing sexism, racism, and classism.

Happy Reading,

Wendy

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