by Grady Hendrix
First things first, can we take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book? It is absolutely stunning and is a dream to photograph. This book was a lot of fun and was very difficult to put down. It made for an awesome buddy-read and would absolutely work as a book club book. It was a bit like Desperate Housewives meets Twilight, set in the early 90’s. I did “assume” it would be a take on slaying vampires, mixed in with some good ‘ol southern hospitality and book club antics (which it did begin with). But then it started taking a turn…
Grady Hendrix has a knack for adding in pop culture and the ability to make you squirm while still making you read. There were a few moments where I had to skim because the gore got a little heavy for me (um, hello rats eating on people and elderly ladies eating someone’s ear off).
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires does tackle some hefty issues including gender roles, stereotypical “housewives,” and socio-economic divides between neighborhoods. I do think, at times, it gave off more of a feeling that it was set in the 50’s or 60’s however I feel like Grady Hendrix was playing into the fact that these types of issues are still prevalent in today’s culture.
This book also references lots of true crime (a genre I’ve never fully invested in – except for Serial Podcast) and I found myself adding many of the novels mentioned to my Goodreads list so that was something! The housewives were all very different and quirky in their own ways. At moments I felt they were represented as slow-witted but overall, I enjoyed their dialogs with one another.
This book was tense, creepy, and elements of humor. A solid fantasy, thriller perfect for this time of year.
But sometimes Patricia wanted to be challenged…sometimes she remembered being a nurse before she married Carter and wondered if she could still reach into a wound and hold an artery closed with her fingers…sometimes she craved a little danger. And that was why she had book club.Grady Hendrix, The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.
PUBLICATION DETAILS: Quirk Books; 17 April 2020; 404 pages; Horror, Thriller