Linda S's Reviews > The Dead Travel Fast

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
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's review
May 12, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: 19th-century, 2010, amazon-vine, gothic, historical-fiction, romance, scotland, vampires
Read in April, 2010

Deanna Raybourn is the author of one of my favorite series, The Lady Julia Grey books. Here she has written a standalone and put her spin on the legend of the vampire.

Theodora Lestrange is a writer living in Scotland in 1858; she has recently refused an offer of marriage from her publisher and is facing the prospect of spinsterhood and living with her sister Anna and her large family. When an invitation comes from her childhood friend, Cosmina, to come to Transylvania to meet her betrothed Theodora sees it as both an escape and the needed inspiration for a novel she is hoping to write. When she arrives at the gloomy castle she finds herself drawn to Cosmina’s intended, the mysterious Count Andrei Dragulescu. When a servant is found dead, with a mysterious bite mark on her neck, Theodora becomes privy to the Dragulescu’s family secrets.

This is a classic Gothic mystery/romance. There is a crumbling castle, a brooding count, a young woman caught up in family intrigues, an assortment of odd servants, a creepy village where stories of werewolves and vampires abound. Are there vampires roaming the castle and village? Are those howls from the forest werewolves? Secrets, lies, betrayals and a forbidden romance add to a very moody atmosphere.

I enjoyed this book; it moved quickly and was a fun read. I liked the character of Theodora, although I question why she stayed in that castle once inexplicable events seem to be occurring. I didn’t care for the count; I didn’t get the attraction and the romance was a little ‘heaving bosoms’ style, but I imagine the author was staying within the Gothic romance style. The story could have been scarier, although there were some creepy moments and there were a few nice twists. Although the ending was too perfect I would recommend the book to those looking for an interesting Gothic mystery with traces of the paranormal. Be warned however that this is not a hardcore vampire book; it’s more of a romance/mystery.

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