I’m not much of a horror reader, so I’m not sure what led me to go to the Southern Gothic panel at Dragoncon. I suspect it was the panel description:
What is it about the American South that haunts the literary psyche? Some of horror’s Southern voices will talk about what it is like to live in the South, and how the region’s atmosphere informs their imaginations.
I found Cherie Priest funny and insightful, and left determined to get her book as soon as it was out, mainly because it seemed like she was talking about the south I live in.
This was apparently one of my better ideas. 😀 Four and Twenty Blackbirds has ghosts, voodoo, history, a feisty heroine, and the dichotomy Priest mentioned at Dragoncon, which can be summed up in a line where heroine Eden Moore talks about the snobby northern transfer student: “They hated her for the reason we all did: she thought she was better than us, and we were afraid she was right.”
If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can always listen to Charles de Lint instead (you have to scroll down), and there are more reviews collected here. I devoured it in one night, and may have to read it again after the SO finishes it. I found it in my local Border’s; Amazon was saying it would be available October 1, but they appear to be shipping now.