1999 "First Vintage Books Edition, July 1999" stated; Vintage Books publishers, New York; A Savannah Story; softbound with decorative green boards and orange lettering on cover and spine; very good condition with unmarked pages, appears unread.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is atmospherically Deep South coastal (Savannah, Georgia, and Beaufort, South Carolina) and Southern Gothic in tone, depicting a wide range of eccentric personalities in and around the city of Savannah, Georgia.
The central narrative concerns the killing of Danny Hansford, a local male prostitute (characterized as "a good time not yet had by all" by an important Savannah socialite), by respected antiques dealer Jim Williams. This results in four murder trials, with the fourth ending in acquittal after the judge finally agreed to a change of venue to move the case away from the Savannah jury pool. The book describes Williams' version of the killing, which is that it was in "self-defense"—the result of Hansford, who is prone to fits of rage, shooting at Williams with a gun that is on display, and Williams shooting back in self-defense—and not murder, pre-meditated or otherwise, by Williams. The death occurred in Williams' home 'Mercer House'.
The book highlights many other notable Savannah residents as well, including The Lady Chablis, a local drag queen and entertainer. Chablis provides both a Greek chorus of sorts as well as a light-hearted contrast to the more serious action.
The book's plot is based on real-life events that occurred in the 1980s and is classified as non-fiction. Because it reads like a novel (and rearranges the sequence of true events in time), it is sometimes referred to as a "non-fiction novel" or "faction", a subgenre popularized by Truman Capote and Norman Mailer.