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

1-14 Chapter Timeline:

Chapter 1:

  • Setting: November 1988, Charleston, NC
  • Patricia: housewife with two kids, joins a book club to get out of the house
  • Carter: Patricia’s husband
  • Marjorie: leader of book club
  • “Patricia’s soul decided that it was no fool and ascended into the afterlife...”
  • Book club members: Slick Paley (definitely from Riverdale), Louise Gibbs, Cuffy Williams, Sadie Funche, Grace Cavanaugh, Kitty Scruggs, Maryallen the Yankee from Massachusetts,
  • No one reads the book in book club
  • Kitty tells Patricia that she is starting her own book club, and begins reading a “trashy” true crime book

Chapter 2:

  • Korey: Patricia’s daughter
  • Blue: Patricia’s son
  • Patricia comes home with Korey and Kitty Scruggs is standing on her front porch and gives Patricia a copy of Evidence of Love
  • Reluctant at first, Patricia reads it in 3 days
  • Kitty hosts the first meeting of her book club at her house – specifically for adult time!
  • The following months the club read several true crime books, all Kitty’s recommendations
  • Carter and Patricia end up moving to a more secluded, community/neighborhood
  • Patricia still finds it in her that she is craving “danger” so that is why she has book club
  • It is now 1991.
  • Carter’s mom, Miss Mary, is now living with Patricia’s family full time.
  • Grace sends Mrs. Greene a sitter for elderly to help out with Miss Mary.

Chapter 3:

  • May 1993
  • The book club is reading Helter Skelter, talking about the hippie movement, mention of Waco and David Kuresh.
  • During the meeting, Maryallen says, “Wouldn’t happen to me” (probably the first person to go)

Chapter 4:

  • Patricia says to grace that she wishes that something exciting would happen around them.
  • Patricia takes out the trash and finds an old woman holding a dead racoon in her hand.
  • Patricia falls and the old woman comes at her on all fours.
  • Patricia is attacked by Mrs. Savage and is bitten and needs eleven stitches and a tetanus shot.
  • Carter drives her home and Patricia starts to cry, heavy on pain killers.

Chapter 5:

  • Patricia shows her kids what her ear looks like and assures them that Miss Mary will not do that to them.
  • Grace calls Patricia to talk about Mrs. Savage and says she had blood poisoning, suffering from malnutrition, and was dehydrated.
  • There was track marks on her inner thigh.
  • Grace tells Patricia that Mrs. Savage passed and Patricia considers taking something to the nephew.

Chapter 6:

  • Patricia brings a casserole to Mrs. Savage’s house and no one answers the door, so she goes in herself.
  • She finds the nephew unresponsive, so she begins CPR.
  • The nephew wakes up and demands to know why Patricia is there.
  • She begins to explain herself, but he asks her to leave immediately.

Chapter 7:

  • During dinner at the Campbells, the doorbell rings and its Mrs. Savage’s nephew returning a casserole dish.
  • Patricia formally invites James Harris into her home to meet her family.
  • James stays for dessert and starts beefing with Korey.
  • Miss Mary starts shouting and accusing James of several things and refers to him as “Hoyt.”
  • Patricia takes Miss Mary away and by the time she returns to the table James is gone.
  • Patricia thinks about how she hates her family and how she wans to see James Harris again.

Chapter 8:

  • Patricia goes over to James’ cottage during the day and he’s wearing sunglasses and says he can’t go in the sun.
  • He falls to his knees and Patricia helps him up.
  • James explains he was bitten by a wolf when he was younger that gave him brain damage and mild lesions that comprised the motor control in his eyes.
  • Patricia feels guilty about how her family treated James when he came over and says she will drive him around with his creepy van to clear her conscience.
  • An image of Ted Bundy flashes through her mind.
  • James forgets his wallet while they are running his errands and Patricia ends up forking over $350 for his deposits.
  • When they return to James’ house, he repays Patricia in cash and shows her a duffle bag of money claiming it was Mrs. Savage’s life savings.
  • James unable to open a savings account, because lack of papers, Patricia says she will open an account for him.
  • At the bank, Patricia asks for a high school friend to help, Doug Mackey.
  • Doug says that if Patricia is a cosigner then James can open an account.
  • James lies and says he does landscaping and would eventually like to make cash deposits which worries Patricia as she sees how the sun makes him so weak.
  • Patricia helps him back to his house and into his bed and invites him to join her book club.

Chapter 9:

  • James joins the book club without Patricia’s warning to the book club.
  • During book club Miss Mary shows up naked saying that she found Hoyt (James’) photograph, asking “Where’s Daddy’s money?,” and “Where’s those children, Hoyt?”
  • By the time the commotion has stopped, everyone is shuffling out Patricia’s house.
  • Patricia looks at the picture that Miss Mary has, and it does not contain James.
  • Miss Mary claims she will find the correct picture.

Chapter 10:

  • Patricia calls Grace to see if Grace is mad at her.
  • Grace says no but still manages to hang up on Patricia.
  • As she tucks her children in bed, Patricia’s children tell her they saw a man on the roof.
  • Patricia and the kids hear a thumping on their roof.
  • Patricia calls 911 but is having trouble reaching an operator when she realizes the bathroom window is wide open.
  • Patricia hands Korey the phone to continue dialing.
  • Patricia tells her kids to hid in the garage room with Miss Mary as she goes across the street to call the police at a neighbors’ house.
  • As Patricia opens the door, James Harris walks inside their house and offers to help, and advised Patricia not to call the police.
  • The police arrive but can’t find anything or anyone.

Chapter 11:

  • Patricia asks her husband for an alarm system and Carter says to relax and not to get carried away.
  • Patricia checks on Miss Mary and asks who Hoyt Pickens is.
  • Miss Mary says that Hoyt killer her father.
  • Patricia is shocked because Miss Mary tells an elaborate story about her father, family, and Hoyt Pickens.
  • No one was buying Rabbit Spit and it started to go brown.
  • Miss Mary’s dad ended up drinking it most of himself, and then hung himself in their barn.
  • Miss Mary believes that Hoyt poisoned the land – where the corn grew for the rabbit spit.

Chapter 12:

  • It is now July 1993.
  • James starts showing up to Patricia’s house every evening to discuss several different things.
  • Patricia throws a birthday party for Korey.
  • While taking care of Miss Mary, Mrs. Greene notices large rats.
  • Ragtag kills one of the rats.
  • When Mrs. Green tries to put Miss Mary in the powder room away from the rats, she realizes the house is swarming with them.
  • So many rats that the covered the two women, biting and scratching.
  • Patricia’s family gets home and their house smells of wild animals and urine.
  • Chairs were turned over, tables on sides, deads rats with pellets and urine puddles.
  • They see Mrs. Green preforming CPR to Miss Mary and tells the family an ambulance is on its’ way.

Chapter 13:

  • Miss Mary “lives” but needs several surgeries in order to go “back to normal.”
  • When Patricia arrives home her yard is flooded with rats.
  • Patricia takes Ragtag to the vet and lives.
  • Carter calls Patricia and say Miss Mary died.
  • The book club says they will help Patricia’s family restore their home: Grace takes charge of the house and Maryellen organizes Miss Mary’s passing.
  • Kitty and Patricia visit Mrs. Greene.
  • Patricia hands a check to Mrs. Green, but Mrs. Greene said she doesn’t need money, she needs work.
  • Mrs. Greene thinks that there is something in the woods that is taking children.

Chapter 14:

  • Mrs. Green says that two boys and Francine have gone missing.
  • Mrs. Green claims that an eight-year-old boy committed suicide.
  • Someone tried going into the woods to go after whoever was taking the kids, but winds up dead.
  • Mrs. Green tells Kitty and Patricia she wrote down the license plate of a white man who she thought was suspicious looking in a white van.
  • Mrs. Green tells them the story of Destiny Taylor who is sleeping all hours of the day, not eating, lethargic, and not drinking water.


  • Initial thoughts of the book so far?
    • What are we liking/not liking?
  • Is there anything surprising about the book so far?
    • What were your expectations?
    • What do you expect or infer from here?
  • Can we explain what maybe happened with Mrs. Savage?
  • Is there truth in Miss Mary’s claims?
  • What does it take for one to start believing in the supernatural?
apr 8 2021 ∞
may 4 2021 +