Before a recent trip to Savannah, Georgia, I was asked the same question each time I mentioned the city: “Have you read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?”  I wondered why so many people found this book to be synonymous with Savannah and decided I’d better check it out.

The author, John Berendt, explains how he came to Savannah on a whim in the 1980s and became fascinated with the city and people he met.  He recounts the decade-long murder trial of wealthy antique dealer Jim Williams, weaving the lives of his circle of friends and enemies into the storyline.  It’s easy to forget that the book is based on actual events as the eccentric characters blend with a suspenseful murder mystery and make it read like fiction.

Berendt includes interesting facts about the city’s history, giving insight into modern Savannah where the book has a noticeable presence in the city.  It is referenced at almost every tourist attraction.  Additionally Mercer House, former residence of Jim Williams, has been transformed into a museum and replicas of the “Bird Girl” statue from the book’s cover can be found throughout the city. mercerhouse

So now I get it.  If you’re taking a trip to Savannah…this is a must read.  And you might want to check it out even if you don’t have a trip planned!

– Kathryn Gosaynie, BWB Aquisitions & Guest Reviewer


  1. Savannah is a charming city and this review made me want to read the book. Going staight to BWB site to get it!

  2. Michelle Howegietzen says:

    This book review reads like southern hospitality. By that I mean, it’s welcoming, interesting, and inviting. It makes me want to dig into Midnight of the Garden of Good and Evil and sample each chapter. Kudos to Kathryn, your guest writer and BWB!

  3. Darlene J. says:

    The book reviews are one of my favorite things to read on this site. The review on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is delightful to read! It caputures th essence of the book without giving too much away. Great job BWB and Kathryn G.

  4. Very nice review. I will add this book to my list of must reads for the summer. I really enjoy the reviews and thought Kathryn G. did a great job for BWB.

  5. This is a great read for crime fiction/’faction’ afficionados, as well as readers interested in old cities and the romance and mixed cultures of the deep South.

    I read this when it was firts published but remember it well. Berendt made a real character of Savannah years before it was at all fashionable to describe cities and their landmark features in this way (i.e The Da Vinci Code, Labyrinthe (both awful) and the more rewarding Shadows of the Wind).

    Filled with mystery, intrigue, romance, music, vodoo magic and courtroom drama.

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