As Georgia's first colonial settlement, Savannah has always drawn Americana-loving retirees and teachers planning school trips. But a more recent wave of visitors now seeks out such outre characters as drag queen Lady Chablis, flamboyant chanteuse Emma Kelly and the voodoo priestess Minerva. TIME staff writer Ginia Bellafante says it's all part of the mania inspired by journalist John Berendt's long-running true-crime bestseller, which just passed the one-year mark on The New York Times bestseller list. The book, now being developed as a movie by Warner Brothers, chronicles a notorious 1981 Savannah murder case. But, Bellafante says, its host of eccentric characters amounts to "an engaging portrait of a gossipy and class-conscious Savannah -- mannered, monied and soaked to its soul in the finest bourbon."