Strong southern women are no joke. But neither is the patriarchy and racism. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix will give you goosebumps and make you angry at racial injustice and stupid white men at the same time. Set in the 90s in South Caroline, each chapter title is a reference to a movie or true crime book from the last 50 years, so you will definitely come out of this book with some ideas for what to read or watch next if this is your jam.
This book is not a mystery. The villain is pretty damn clear from the beginning, and our heroine figures it out relatively quickly (but not quickly enough). What makes the story interesting and tense is the fact that knowing the truth isn’t enough when you are dealing with the culture of racism and sexism and all that BS. I was reminded of the second season of Mindhunter a ton when I read this, so there is another recommendation for y’all.
Hendrix’s writing style clips along at a good pace and his main character, Patricia Campbell is both endearing and infuriating at times. The other women in the book club all fit different archetypes, but manage to do so without feeling too flat. You may find yourself wanting to yell at the characters as when you are watching a scary movie, but do restrain yourself if there are other folks around so as not to scare them too much. For true crime and horror lovers I would call this book a must read.