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

 Happy Vampires Week,

This is the second book I've been lucky enough to read by Grady Hendrix, the first being My Best Friends Exorcism, but if I am totally honest with you enjoyed this one a little more. Don’t judge me but as a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books this one seemed right up my street and but this book ended up being way more than I expected and was hard to put down.

Our book is set in Mt Pleasant, it is the kind of place where people write down the license plates of unknown vehicles, where doors are left unlocked at night, and where neighbours are close. Which brings us to our protagonist and can I just say I loved Patricia and her book club group. She's just a normal woman, once a nurse, who becomes a mum with a routine but isn't appreciated by her family. I have to admit I love them from Slick, Kitty, Grace, Maryellen and even dear Mrs Greene. Can I just say I want to be their friend I’m just putting it out there?

The housewives were all quite different in their quirky little ways, but each of them seemed to have similar butthead husbands and maddening kids. At some point, members of the Book Club wonder into waywardness and instead of reading the typical go-to books, they take a deep dive into the scandals of true crime novels. The constant references to true crime were such a blast for this true crime junkie, and I was getting increasingly jealous of their book club picks. If there is an opening, I call it.  Of course, a tall, dark, handsome stranger called James Harris moves into the neighbourhood and befriends our attention-starved Patricia.

James Harris spoiler is out wonderful villain. You loved to hate him! He was charming, can talk his way through anything and just frustrating. we all know how much I love a good villain and Grady has given us a delightfully dark one. But not long after the new neighbour arrives weird things start happening: young children are going missing and found dead days later, and animals begin behaving strangely. Patricia is all of us who have read enough true crime novels to know a threat when she sees it. High five to all my fellow armchair detectives. But as a wife in a town with old values, Patricia's voice is lost amongst the ones who welcome James with enthusiasm. So, Patricia, Kitty, Maryellen, Slick, Grace and Mrs Greene decided that they are not about to take this lying down. But what can a book club do about it? you’ll have to read it to find out dear reader.

This book is so smart, gruesome, wild, bloody blended with dark humour, sarcasm, criticizing of the role of wives and structures of marriage. This is not your stereotypical book club and these women are not the conventional "badass heroines", they’re genuinely strong badass women. That being said the book lightly pokes fun at them, but in a warm, good-natured way. This is an epic and darkly heart wrenching tale with a strong emphasis on women friendship that is hard to put down.

L x

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