The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to kiss her good-bye in the morning, her kids are wrapped up in their own lives, and she’s always a step behind on thank-you notes and endless chores. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and suspenseful fiction.

This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome relative, James Harris, into her life. Sensitive and well-read, James makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something…off…and then Patricia’s senile mother-in-law insists she knew him back when she was a girl.

When local children go missing, Patricia has reason to believe that James may be more Bundy than Beatnik. But once she and the book club members investigate further, the true monster emerges—and he’s far more terrifying than any serial killer they’ve ever read about.


“Hendrix cleverly sprinkles in nods to well-established vampire lore, and the fact that he’s a master at conjuring heady 1990s nostalgia is just the icing on what is his best book yet. Fans of smart horror will sink their teeth into this one.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Hendrix draws shrewd parallels between the serial killers documented in the book club’s picks and Harris’s apparent vampire persona, loading his gruesome story with perfectly-pitched allusions to classic horror novels and true crime accounts. This powerful, eclectic novel both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Hendrix has masterfully blended the disaffected housewife trope with a terrifying vampire tale [...] Whether they are horror fans or not, a wide swath of readers will enjoy how this premise plays out.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“Buried beneath THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES’s mounds of Southern-style humor and horrific plot twists ripples a coming-of-age story featuring the least likely of heroines […] The novel exudes sufficient Southern charm and hospitality to conceal the extensive groundwork laid for the delectable surprises that are made to spring from its passages. A vampires’ hunger for blood may be insatiable, but this masterpiece novel ladles out ample thrills, chills, and relevant examples of sociopolitical injustices to satisfy any literary appetite.”

Foreword, Starred Review

“One of the most rollicking, addictive novels […] in years.”

The New York Times

“Its incisive social commentary and meaningful character development make THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES not just a palatable read for non-horror fans, but a winning one.”

USA Today

“It’s this ability to terrify, while also having something worthwhile and insightful to say, that makes Grady Hendrix one of my favourite contemporary horror authors.”


“[This] delightful rendition of the ensuing gore, crisp expletives, and eerie suspense of this horror story, which touches on themes of gender, class, and race, makes for an enthralling […] experience.”

Audio File

“The author remains excellent at staging page-turning sequences of excitement.”

AV Club

“Horror lovers who enjoy era-specific pop cultural references and a smart blend of vivid character-driven horror and humor will be well pleased. It’s everything Hendrix fans have come to expect from his exclusive brand of storytelling: Clever, compelling and plenty of chills. A new favorite!”

Cemetery Dance

“This might be my favorite work from Hendrix to date.”

The Fantasy Hive

“One of the things I like the most about Grady Hendrix’s novels is the nostalgia factor. It’s just so darn satisfying to submerge myself in all of the stereotypical yet true-to-life, generation-defining quirkiness he brings to the story. ”

Audible, Editor’s Pick

“This book is scary, twisty, weirdly sexy, and so good.”

New York Public Library

"Grady Hendrix is growing into a master of the horror genre with each book he publishes, he’s become a must read for me and THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE FOR SLAYING VAMPIRES is just proof of his mastery of storytelling."

SFF World

"The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is entertaining and amusing."

Fantasy Literature

“THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES is funny and warm and it’s genuinely creepy and disturbing. Grady re-creates a time and place without the dangerous, distortive lens of nostalgia and delivers a book with plenty of bite (I’m sorry for the pun, but it’s true).”

Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

"Grady Hendrix has cemented his place as a literary luminary [...] Hendrix has taken his genuine affection for housewives and their work, and folded it seamlessly into a horrifying story of social decay and community betrayal. Cancel your plans and lock your doors — you won't be able to stop reading this one until the very end."

Sarah Gailey, Hugo-Award winning author of Magic for Liars

“Every vampire novel is going to have blood and teeth, but this one’s got that one essential ingredient that nobody else does like Grady Hendrix: heart. These aren’t characters, they’re people, and I consider myself lucky to have known them for a few pages.”

Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

“The book I didn’t know I was waiting for about suburban moms fighting monsters in their midst. This book is a goddamn delight.”

Lauren Beukes, award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Shining Girls

Awards & Accolades


#14 New York Times bestseller list


#2 Southern Indies bestseller list


#10 Midwest Indies bestseller list


#11 Pacific Northwest Indies bestseller list


#14 Southern California Indies bestseller list


#107 USA Today


April 2020 #1 LibraryReads Pick


LibraryJournal Editors' Pick for April 2020


The A.V. Club Best Book of April 2020