Read The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn Online


A husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all. With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh--and a disappointed suitor--far behind. She is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true indA husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all. With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh--and a disappointed suitor--far behind. She is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathians, replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle's master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora's imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute--Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway.Before her sojourn is ended--or her novel completed--Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal...and she is in danger of falling prey to more than desire....

Title : The Dead Travel Fast
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780778327653
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 309 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dead Travel Fast Reviews

  • Jill Hill
    2019-03-26 13:39

    Can we PLEASE go back to the original cover style for her books so I'm not embarrassed to buy them?

  • MB (What she read)
    2019-02-25 18:55

    Frankly I was kind of disappointed in this. It was well-written and nicely atmospheric, but I never really liked either of the main characters and found the plot unconvincing. I found her weirdly modern in outlook, and him...? All my least favorite alpha traits embodied. Other than his supposed cuteness/hotness/money/position I couldn't see why any woman would find him a catch. Controlling? Vaguely abusive? Selfish? Opium addict? My reaction: YUCK!It was weirdly reminiscent of Jane Eyre to me, with lots of victorian dialogue. The 'gothicness' of it felt like victorian and modern sensibilities were fighting together, I kept being pulled out of the story. But she is a good writer, and it could have been done much worse, by a lesser author. That's why I gave it 3 stars. I think it would work better for many readers than it did for me. (I have oddball reactions and often dislike books everyone else seems to love, so don't let me talk you out of it.) I liked the 'Silent' series much better and am looking forward to the new one coming out.

  • Angie
    2019-03-24 18:45

    For the last couple of weeks I've been obsessively checking my local bookstore's stock online to see if Deanna Raybourn's THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST just happened to get in early. Yes, I actually am that nerdy and it's much too late to do anything about it. But, in this case, the effort paid off as a nice, healthy stack of them awaited me on the "New Fiction" table when I dashed in from the rain on my way home from work. As you know, I am a devoted Lady Julia Grey fan. I adore that series and am anxiously awaiting the upcoming fourth installment--Dark Road to Darjeeling--due out this October. But when I heard she was working on a standalone historical set in Transylvania and featuring a would-be lady novelist and a mysterious count...well...I was equal parts intrigued and excited. Who knew what delights and promises it would hold?Miss Theodora LeStrange has come to the end of her rope. When her grandfather and guardian passes away, her well-meaning if rather insipid brother-in-law takes it upon himself to determine what exactly is to be done with her. Terrified of what he will come up with, Theodora grasps at the nearest straw in the form of a letter from her old school friend Cosmina who now resides at Castle Dragulescu in Transylvania. She invites Theodora to come and stay in celebration of her approaching nuptials. A budding novelist, Theodora convinces her friend and publisher Charles Beecroft the experience will serve to inspire her imagination and fuel the novel she knows is lurking inside just waiting to be brought forth. Against their better judgement, her family and friends let her go and the adventure of a lifetime begins. Upon arrival Theodora is reunited with Cosmina and introduced to the aging Countess and her mysterious son--the newly appointed Count. In a land where the sinister is a daily occurrence and the horrifying merely commonplace, Theodora's imagination is more than stimulated. It is driven into overdrive as her Scottish pragmatism wars with the inexplicable and increasingly nightmarish events unfolding in this small Roumanian village at the edge of the world.This was such an interesting read. It was at times exactly and not at all what I expected and my response to it evolved as the pages turned. I liked Theodora from the beginning. She is much more pragmatic, yet somehow less sure of herself than Julia Grey and I wondered how she would handle the--what seemed to me--clearly supernatural events at Castle Dragulescu. But just when you (and she) think you have the story and Count Andrei figured out, the narrative takes a meditative turn and you find yourself not at all sure. Perhaps it is merely smoke and mirrors and can all be explained away by an ancient grudge, a marital infidelity, or a genetic predisposition. And so the tale winds on, weaving back and forth between the mundane and the spectacular, never revealing its secrets. At first I was impatient to discover the truth, but it was when I gave myself up to the story that I enjoyed Deanna Raybourn's wonderfully gifted way with words. I was amazed at how seamless the writing and the dialogue were. Initially I wanted to like Andrei as much as I do Brisbane, but he is an entirely different breed of alpha male and not nearly as instantly likable. But he isn't meant to be, I don't think. Much more Rochester than Thornton from the word go. And once again, it was when I sat back and let it wash over me that I really was able to appreciate this novel for what it is--a pitch-perfect Victorian Gothic romance. And the ending was perfect. What a talent for endings Ms. Raybourn has and how much I look forward to each of her books--whatever style or genre they may be.A Note: For Lady Julia Grey aficionados, there is a delightful little reference to that series hidden in THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST. It left a happily satisfied smile on my face. See if you can spot it.

  • LJ
    2019-03-11 17:50

    First Sentence: All proper stories begin with the words Once upon a time….Theodroa Lastrange travels to a castle in the Carpathian Mountains at the invitation of her school-days friend, Cosmina. There she finds an old castle, an aristocratic family, and a count to whom she is inexplicably and inexorably attracted. She also finds superstition and dark tales of werewolves and be involved in the destruction of an alleged vampire.My feelings, about this book, changed almost page to page and my rating oscillated from “Good” to “Not Recommended.” My problem wasn’t that this was very different from the Lady Jane Grey series; I was prepared for this to be completely different. I like gothic. When done well, it can be wonderful. When done badly, it crosses over into being melodramatic. For much of this book, I found the latter to be true. My problem was the writing itself. Parts of the story are very good; wonderfully written, touching, emotionally and thoroughly engrossing. However, in other parts of the story, I found myself rolling my eyes and wondering what Ms. Raybourn had been thinking. It is difficult when you read first for character, and the only character you really feel any affinity for is a secondary character, Charles. I truly disliked that the protagonist was named Theodora Lastrange; how cliché can one possibly be. It may be a small thing, but was so trite; it nearly caused me to stop reading immediately. Than rather than Ms. Lastrange being gutsy and independent, there was a wimpishness about her, particularly in her attraction to the Count. Even with my issues with the characters, it was the plot which let me down. The plot was rife with anachronisms, clichés and coincidences. However, on the plus side, there were some scenes that were very well done, I personally like the inclusion of references to and the poetry of Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal being a particular favorite of mine, and I particularly appreciate her explanation for some of the “supernatural’ events. All this being said, it wasn’t a terrible book. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good book either. Having read Ms. Raybourn’s other books, I believe much of my disappointment comes from knowing she is a much better writer than this would indicate. THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST (Gothic/Susp-Theodora Lastrange-Transylvania-Victorian/1858) – OkayRaybourn, Deanna – StandaloneMira, 2010, Trade paperback – ISBN: 9780778327653

  • Misfit
    2019-02-23 20:27

    A twist on the old Dracula legends? Or is there something else going on here? Theodora Lestrange's childhood school mate Cosmina is set to marry a distant cousin, Count Andrei Dragulescu, at his castle high in the Carpathian Mountains. Theodora is soon swept up into a web of intrigue and mystery over Andrei's dead father (do the dead walk at night?), a local villager who disappears into the forest to howl at the full moon (or does he?), a maid found dead with the marks of a vampire's fangs (or is it something else?) and more. Of course the ever so sensuous Count has no interest in his betrothed but can't keep his hands and lips off our heroine. Will she succumb to his charms? And if she does, will those be kisses she receives or something more sinister? Is he one of the Strigoi or is it all smoke and mirrors? Well you know I'm not telling. This was a light, easy-breezy read with plenty of creepy moments that kept me guessing at the mystery until almost the last pages. Theodora was just spunky and intelligent enough without going OTT in modern behavior and as for Andrei? I wouldn't mind having one of him for my own. I have to admit to being one of the few people left on the planet who haven't yet read Raybourn's other books, so I don't have those books to compare to as other reviewers have done. Three stars.

  • Barb
    2019-03-05 14:40

    I was so focused on the fact that Deanna Raybourn had a new book coming out that I somehow failed to find out what the book was about until I was standing in the check out line at the bookstore. And even reading the back cover I still didn't know what I was in for. Really there should be vampire warnings somewhere so that you know what you're getting yourself into with books these days. The back cover does say our heroine is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered... and the castle's master is Count Andrei Dragulescu. I am the first one to tell you I like things spelled out for me...perhaps it's because I am often completely obtuse. As it seems was the case with this book, I had no idea until I was a hundred or more pages into it that it was a vampire story. Once that major detail was discovered I found myself wanting to run back to the book store with my receipt in hand and ask for a refund. But I didn't, I finished the book and on the whole, it was okay. I'm a little sad that the wonderfully talented Ms. Raybourn has turned her hand to things vampirian, it seems somehow faddish to me. But those of you who loved Twilight will likely love this as well. This novel felt very much like a Romance novel and the murder mystery didn't feel very well developed. The characters seemed rather stereotypical and the attraction between our heroine and the Count seemed based almost entirely on the physical. Overall this novel pales in comparison to the characters and story lines the author created for her Lady Julia series. And yet I would not be at all surprised if this novel took off in popularity and had better sales than her first series. I say that only because of the popularity of romance novels and the current interest in all things vampire. Personally I will be happy to read the next Lady Julia book and count this as the first and last vampire book I'll read.

  • Juliette
    2019-03-19 15:35

    When I opened the book and found the prescript page,asking readers to let themselves be swept away by the lore she was about to delve into, I was hooked. I wanted to dive into that world she promised. Unfortunately, The Dead Travel Fast, made me feel as if I swan-dived off of the high diving board only to land in the shallow end of the pool. Raybourn's style of writing is fresh and interesting, it showed a lot of potential. And I LOVED the chemistry between the two main characters in the beginning. However, about 3/4 of the way through, I had no idea where the female protagonist's heart should belong. I felt no allegiance to either of the men in her life. I was actually surprised when in the last page of the book, things wrapped up so...romantically (for lack of better word). All things considered, I liked the book purely for the writing style and the potential it had especially at the beginning. But I feel gypped. I only wanted what was promised: an escape into dark imagination and whimsy. Perhaps the author should have asked the same thing of herself.

  • Susan
    2019-03-24 15:32

    This book reminded me of one of those classical gothic tales. It moved at a leisurely pace as the story unfolded slowly with interesting details. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the castle in Transylvania, the descriptions of the neighboring countryside, the many characters within the story and the heroine's will to be independent. However, I wish I had a better grasp of the hero in the story. Got glimpses of him, but they were just that, glimpses. I never really felt the character was totally fleshed-out.Anyway, I would recommend this book to read on a dark and story night :)

  • Maria Clara
    2019-03-05 20:29

    Una historia original basada en el mito de los vampiros, en la misteriosa Transilvana de 1860. Un relato donde no todo es lo que parece, y donde el amor y la muerte se dan la mano. Una lectura muy recomendable.

  • Amy
    2019-03-12 21:54

    Something you should know about me: I judge.When I read the author's bio (which I always do), I look at the photos. And I judge. I decide whether or not I could be friends with the writer, based on how they look in their photo. Deanna Raybourn and I would not be friends. She looks a tad airbrushed, and she's wearing a bad '80s sort of Twilight-meets-Mr. Rochester's Wife get-up that annoys me.She's from Texas, which makes me wonder if her little costume speaks for how she thinks writers of gothic romances ought to look.However, I do enjoy her books.If you have not read her Lady Julia Grey series (Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary and Silent on the Moor), DO IT. They are pretty well written, entertaining, have a good hook for their mystery, and she keeps you waiting for the romance between Julia and Nicholas Brisbane (who I picture looking like Clive Owen, for some reason).Speaking of which, do you do that? Do you picture movie stars as the characters? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.Back to The Dead Travel Fast. I totally understand the "dead" part of the equation, but not so much for the "traveling fast." All of the dead seem to be from the tiny village in Transylvania, where the story is set. Theodora Lestrange (I blame Texas for that name - and before you Texans besmirch me, think of your own animus against the other 49 states in the union) is a ripe old spinster at 23, so, itching for an adventure and for a spark to her nascent writing career, she sets off for Romania to visit an old school chum. Naturally, she meets a tall, dark, gloriously handsome but maddeningly mysterious man, named Count Andrei Dragulescu. I think we're supposed to draw a line between Count Andrei and Count Dracula, because there are suspicions that Andrei the Hottie might want to suck your blood.Or something.But back to the story.Theodora gets caught up in a murder mystery, as well as the mystery of Count Andrei's family and the legends surrounding it. Are they vampires? Werewolves? Something worse? Something better?I enjoyed this one. After the Lady Julia books, I'd grown accustomed to Deanna Raybourn's propensity to drag out romance and make you yearn for some lovin', touchin' and squeezin'. There is not much more of it here, but there is one scene that will get your blood flowing.Like a lot of romance novels (although I bet Deanna Raybourn does not think of herself as a romance novelist), The Dead Travel Fast features a preternaturally gorgeous and masculine love interest, the type you wish existed in real life. There were a couple of twists to the book, one of which I saw coming a mile away, but the other was a pleasant surprise. And picturing Andrei makes it fun.

  • Stacy
    2019-02-26 17:35

    There wasn't anything particular about the style or the content that I could single out as being alluring, but this drew me in from the start and moved quickly, keeping my attention rapt from start to finish. What starts as a gothic romance turns on its heel to become a murder mystery steeped in suspicion that I daresay recalls du Maurier's Rebecca.The main character, Theodora, is strong and fierce in her grasp of feminism - determined not to lean on anyone but to make her living by way of her writing. She is confronted with the prospect of marrying a man she respects but does not love, and instead opts out of marriage entirely, desirous of making a name for herself as an authoress. She is given the chance to work on her book when a friend from her younger days requests her presence at her imminent marriage. Upon arrival, she discovers the marriage is not to take place, and her friend expresses relief; thus planting the seeds which Translyvanian folklore fosters into a miasma from which the threads of fiction and fact are hard to differentiate. Little clues planted from the beginning steer the reader exactly as the author desires, from one suspicion to the next, and even Theodora's scientific mind is rocked by her own growing feelings for one of the potential suspects. The author never concludes one way or another in the matter of several aspects of fact vs. fiction - instead lending the reader a feeling that is it not necessary to KNOW, just to accept the beliefs of a people whose minds will not be swayed by one dissenter.The plot may not be overly complicated, but the delight of reading something that engaged me so throughly more than makes up for any lightness elsewhere. And certainly there are enough little sprinkles of character development that even though one may not pull it together until the end, nothing can be said as a surprising or unexpected turn from any of the characters - everything has built towards this end, even if you didn't know it as you read.

  • Nan
    2019-03-15 20:27

    This was a truly perfect book.It had all of my favorite elements of a neo-Victorian Gothic--the impoverished gentlewoman seeking to make her way in life; the mysterious, sensual young count that catches her eye; mysterious deaths; superstitious locals; and a fraught relationship to the past. Theodora is an orphan, and her grandfather has recently died as well. When her schoolfriend, Cosima, invites her to Transylvania to be a guest at Cosima's wedding to the local count, Theodora views it as a handy escape. She's a writer, and she knows from Cosima's childhood stories that Transylvania will provide fertile ground for her imagination. Also, she'd rather not live with her sister and brother-in-law, who are expecting their fifth child. Upon her arrival at the castle, Theodora is thrilled with the magnificent setting, and her writing takes off. She is troubled that Cosima's wedding has been called off, and Theodora is even more disturbed when she realizes just how attracted she is to the count.In true Gothic fashion, secrets from the past continue to haunt the present. Was the current count's father so evil that he rose from the grave as strigoi? Why did the count's father and grandfather hate each other so deeply? What secrets of love and passion will drive these characters to commit desperate acts?Raybourn has a fantastic narrative voice, and her ear for dialogue is top-notch. Unlike so many neo-Victorian romances, her characters speak naturally, with only small differences from our modern speech. Clearly, Raybourn has read many Victorian novels in order to master the language so thoroughly. This book was a joy to read, and I would have loved to read it slowly and savor it, but I was too engrossed and had to know what happened next.

  • Ashley
    2019-03-08 15:29

    A watered-down narrative pretending to be a romance, a mystery, and a horror story all in one.Theodora Lestrange (no, I'm not kidding - that's her name) is an independent Victorian authoress on her way to Transylvania to visit an old school friend and get inspiration for her latest novel. Insert a handsome brooding count, echoes of vampire stories, and a few mysterious occurrences and you have The Dead Travel Fast. What would have been an otherwise enjoyable story was ruined by its lack of dedication to one single idea. The heroine is skeptical of the rumors of vampires, but she does nothing towards investigating them (as she might in a mystery novel). The hero and the heroine share overwhelming chemistry, but the hero doesn't appear to be as interested in the heroine's feelings as she is in his (as he might be in a romance novel). Actually, he's kind of callous. Finally, there is an awful lot of talk about vampires and werewolves, and not a single appearance by either of them (so much for a horror story). The ending is swift and unsatisfying - hardly any questions were really answered and whatever emotional conclusion that has been drawn for the characters is unbelievable and forced. In short, this story is a deeply detailed description of a very roughly-drafted plot, and the book suffers for it. I loved the amount of detail Ms. Raybourn put into the landscape of Transylvania and the Dragulescu castle. I only wish she'd given the plot that much forethought and effort.

  • Anita
    2019-03-11 18:53

    Actual Rating: 3.5 StarsI'm conflicted, much like I was when I read my very first Deanna Raybourn book, Silent in the Grave. I'm conflicted because Deanna Raybourn's ability to create vivid imagery and atmospheric narrative is just so excellent. But at the same time, she tends to spend a lot of time either building the story, or dragging out certain events in the story.So I don't know how I feel about this book, exactly, because aside from the few scenes that felt dragged, I had a hard time really liking any of the characters, even Theodora.And the mystery... was actually quite predictable and I had it figured out, even if there was a bit of a twist in the end that I didn't see coming. But that's just me.I'm still trying to put my thoughts together, so a more refined review might be forthcoming.On an aside, I listened to the audio book version of this book, narrated by Charlotte Parry, which was absolutely excellent!

  • Jackleen
    2019-03-26 16:51

    Deanne Raybourne has given us a new Victorian heroine to cheer for in this suspenseful historical mystery set in the atmospheric Carpathian Mountains and includes a creepy castle, a brooding handsome Count, vampires and werewolves, as well as, an old dowager countess with secrets of her own, a talented musician working as a lowly servant and an old friend whose life is not as she has claimed.Theodora Lestrange, an orphan raised by her grandfather, dreams of becoming a novelist. Following the death of her grandfather, Theodora is confronted with the proposition of a suitable marriage from her own publisher; a man, while not unattractive, but who is hopelessly mundane. Theodora longs for adventure and independence. When opportunity arrives in the form of a letter from an old school friend, Cosmina, to travel to a castle in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, Theodora grabs it with both hands.The castle is deliciously old and creepy and the perfect backdrop to write a novel. And, the attractive brooding Count Andrei Dragulescu is a most excellent muse and character for her budding novel. As she is drawn to Andrei, Theodora finds she is more than just interested in writing. Unfortunately said count is also engaged to her friend and Theodora must fight an attraction that seems to be equally reciprocated. The rumours concerning the count’s family, as well as, his own odd nocturnal behaviour, has Theodora’s fertile imagination jumping to certain vampire conclusions. When it becomes clear that all is not as it seems at the castle, she begins to investigate. Theodora soon has more than she bargained for when tales of vampires and werewolves proceed to murder and pagan ceremonies. As Theodora sets out to discover the truth, she finds herself in danger from those she thought most cared for her. A light hearted historical mystery romance that is sure to please Deanne Raybourne fans. This is not a Lady Grey novel, but progresses in similar fashion with the addition of an excellent new setting and characters. Raybourne handles the mystery with delft hands and keeps us guessing to the end, delivering a perfect twist.

  • Milena Benini
    2019-03-07 19:41

    Having finished all four in the lady Julia series, I went on to The Dead Travel Fast because I wanted to see what Ms. Raybourn would do away from the same group of characters. It was worth it.What Raybourn does best is gothic (I'd add a gothic shelf if I weren't too lazy), and here she really comes into her own. The atmosphere is well done, and the feeling of uncertainty -- is the menace real or not? and if it is, is it supernatural or just somebody using local legends to literally get away with murder? -- is almost perfectly executed.Add to this the fact that the hero of this book is even more of a Heathcliff than Raybourn's detective, and the Dead could rise all the way to four stars level. What kept it at three were some details. Number one, having glommed the Raybourn oeuvre, I could identify the culprit before the murder was even committed -- it's a really easy formula to follow. Number two, a Hungarian/Rumanian family had the last name Frankopan (you have to be from Croatia to get this one.) And, finally, the romance ending was totally tacked-on and unconvincing, carrying the emotional strenght of a pack of M&M's. No, I don't know why I chose that particular comparison either, but it seems to work.All in all, if you've never read any Raybourn, this is a good place to start. Provided you love gothic mysteries, you'll have a good time, too.

  • CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
    2019-03-15 18:26

    Atmospheric is the first thing I think about when I think about this book. The characters are well written but the character that really shines in this book is Transylvania. From the un-trusting villagers, to the mysterious tales and legends punctuated by the howls of wolves and the still healthy body of a 4 month old corpse. Amidst the fear of the unknown is an even bigger threat, Theodora has come to Transylvania at the behest of her dearest child hood friend Cosmina. Cosmina is to be married to the current count Dragulescu who is somewhat of a mystery and the biggest threat to Theodora's mind and body; for the count is not what he appears and underneath his affability and mysteries is a man who is worthy of love and attachment, something that Theodora had not counted on.Nothing, save Theodora's planned novel, is what it seems. New friends can become strangers in a place like Transylvania and old friends can become something far more unexpected.Freeing herself from a life she could not accept in Scotland has led her to a place where her freedom, her heart and her life may be in jeopardy. Theodora must find out what the fine line between fear and love is and whether the burdens of the dead can be shouldered.

  • Cindi
    2019-03-04 15:49

    When her father dies, Theodora Lestrange travels to a cold and decaying castle in the Rumania where she is haunted by tales of vampires and werewolves. She is dangerously attracted to the dark Count Dragulescu who begins to seduce her upon arrival: is he what he seems, or something inhuman and unnatural? I am a fan of Raybourn's Lady Julia series, so I really looked forward to this book...and was sadly disappointed. In the "Silent" series, Raybourn shines as she creates a seamless Victorian world...I marvel at the dialog and descriptions of culture. But "dead" was a dischordant mixture of modern and period which kept me from fully immersing in the tale. I have a personal vendetta against literature which glorifies unhealthy relationships, and the "hero," Count Andrei, is a horribly unhealthy man who brags of his womanizing, indulges in opium and is an imperialistic ogre! When he touches Theodora I find it repulsive, not seductive, when I think of where those hands have been!!! I also abhor fatalistic love stories where the heroine seems unable to break away from the hypnotic attraction of her lover. Theodora's inability to resist the Count makes her a weak heroine: despite all her modern ideals, she is ruled by her hormones, not her head!

  • Terra
    2019-02-24 18:26

    I must say that this book was quite a surprise and I absolutely loved it from page one to the very end. I am not a mystery reader and that is where the story took me by surprise but it was a good surprise. It's supposed to be a paranormal romance but I would say it's more of a paranormal mystery with a dash of romance to wet the appetite.Our heroine Theodora has just lost her grandfather a few months past and is working with her sister and brother-in-law to settle up his estate when Theodora gets a post from an old friend from when she was in school requesting that she come to Transylvania for the friends upcoming wedding. Theodora decides to go and this is where the journey will take her from a comfortable secure life to a life of beauty, hardship, horror, murder, love and a who-dun-it mystery rich in folklore and superstition.The story kept me guessing right up until the end and the murderer was not who I would have ever expected it to be. The narration was wonderful and the story was richly descriptive to make you feel all the emotions that our heroine is experiencing. Sight, scenery, taste and smell are all there in their glory. I will most certainly be checking out more of what this author has to offer after such a delightful experience.

  • Summer
    2019-03-19 20:55

    I wouldn't quite say this was on par with Deanna Raybourn's 'Julia Grey' novels, but it was still enjoyable and a good way to spend a cold January morning. I do have to warn you that my one complaint is the author's continuous need to refer to the Transylvania countryside as either 'story-book' or 'out of a fairy tale'. A few times is okay, but throughout the book the surroundings are referred to as such and it got a little old after a while. I felt like I wanted a little bit more from the ending too. But really, Deanna Raybourn's writing has yet to disappoint.

  • Lindap
    2019-03-19 13:55

    3.75 / 4 StarsI just finished reading the Lady Julia Gray Series and felt I'd give The Dead Travel Fast a try and see if I like others stories by DR. Have to say, I quite liked this one, too. I've enjoyed her writing style throughout all the books. Theodora is a very progressive thinking woman who wants to earn her own living and not be beholding to reluctant relatives. She does this by writing stories. At first she writes under another name, but she feels if she's going to write it, she's going to own it. About this time a childhood friend, Cosmina, invites Theodora to visit her up in the Carpathian Mountains before her upcoming wedding to Count Andrei Dragulescu. Theodora had heard stories of vampires and wolves from Cosmina; thinking they were tale tales, but there's some truth to all tales....

  • Mari
    2019-03-20 16:54

    3.5 - 4.0 ***I borrowed the audio book with Audible's Romance Unlimited. I like Deanna Raybourn's writing style. It's a historical book so all the characters are extremely polite but she doesn't let the story get bogged down by the character's station, status or fashions.Theodora is an aspiring writer from Scotland. She'd rather write to support herself than take the traditional path of marriage and children. She's receives an invitation from her school friend to stay in a Romanian castle. Theodora jumps at the idea of travel and writing her next story in an old castle. There is a bit of romance with the new Count. Then a maid is murdered amidst rumors of werewolves and vampire.Charlotte Parry's narration was very good. Each character voice was unique.

  • HєllyBєlly
    2019-02-23 15:55

    2 1/2 stars.While being an interesting and well written gothic, I had sort of expected it to be a bit ‘faster’ and slightly more gripping. The story is told from the heroine’s point of view and that is actually something I prefer, but I couldn’t get in there in Theodora’s head, so I never felt an emotional investment. The leading male is an B-word.---I did a RITA reader challenge review for Smart Bitches Trashy Books, so I thought I'd post the updated version here: We embark upon this story in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the mid 1800s.Theodora and her sister Anna grew up with their grandfather, Professor Lestrange. When Anna left to get married, Theodora missed her so much that her Granpa tried to comfort her by sending her to a school for young ladies in Bavaria. There, she made the acquaintance of Cosmina, a Romanian girl, who – just as this book begins – sends Theo a letter of invitation to her upcoming nuptials.This solves things rather neatly for Theo, who is an aspiring author and is waiting/hoping/planning to write that big novel that will really launch her career and this invitation is also a reluctant relief for her brother-in-law who is temporarily saved from having to add her to his already financially strapped household.The Dead Travel Fast – now, doesn’t that title send your imagination in the direction of spooky dank castles, mysterious and darkly attractive counts and the walking undead? It did mine. And the promise of the title was delivered to a point – it is dark in the corners of the falling-apart castle in the Carpathians that Theo travels to, there is a sense of foreboding and a nagging question – could there really be such things a strigoi – walking dead, feeding on the blood of the living?I had done right to come. This was a land of legend, and I knew I should find inspiration for a dozen novels here if I wished it.The wedding is off, Theo finds out upon her arrival. Cosmina begs her not to talk about it but to say she’s come for a visit. So Theo decides to spend some time with her friend. Get a start on her novel and enjoy the hospitality of the Countess of Dragulescu, Cosmina’s aunt and mother of the present count Andrei (Cosmina’s erstwhile fiancé).It does not take a genius to figure out that the count is the love interest of Theo. (I try to pretend I can’t see these things coming, in order to surprise myself, but I usually fail).Now Theo I find acceptable. I don’t take to her character completely; she is a bit too dry, too practical, comes across as a little too modern for these times and – let’s say it – a tad boring. As a reader, I never feel what she is feeling even though the book is told in first person from her point of view. The count, however, I find detestable. He is a selfish womaniser of the worst sort. Judge for yourself:I have sampled women the world over, from courte sans to countesses, and I can tell you there are only three types of women who matter in a man’s life—those he marries, those he seduces and those he takes. I have only to tailor my behaviour to become whatever the lady in question wants me to be and I am assured of success.Add to that a preference for opium and you have a user of a guy who does not think that your blood makes you worthy of marriage (even though he is quite happy to bonk you on the sofa in the observatory) and who smells of overripe fruit.A stinky stuck-up count.The smell of opium clung to him, not unpleasant, but primeval, like windfallen fruit on freshly turned earth.There are strange going-ons in the castle and surrounding village. Some men are rumoured to have taken to the forests to live as wolves. The old, evil count is feared to have turned strigoi and started attacking those who were closest to him. Meanwhile, Theo has discussions on every type of topic with the count, who she is drawn to like a moth to a rotting fruit. She says that regardless of their physical attraction, it is his mind that draws him the most.I am sorry to reveal that, because I found the book too boring (not enough fast moving dead people for my taste), I had to skim the latter part of it.I wanted at least to find out what was going to happen – who did the ‘killins’ and and how the romantic relationship would be resolved.And it was meh. I can’t describe it better than that.This is not a bad piece of writing, some of the historical and geographical details are really interesting. But as a romantic and/or goth novel it falls flat. It is not scary nor romantic enough and with an unlikeable hero the emotional investment was nada for me.

  • Danielle Gonzalez
    2019-03-16 14:35

    This book takes place in the mid 1800's, and begins in Edinburgh with Theodora dealing with the death of her grandfather. As a single woman in that period, she is now in a difficult situation without a means to support herself. She receives an invitation from an old school friend inviting her to visit her family's castle in Transylvania. She decides it may be a good distraction for her to write her first novel in an interesting setting. Theodora travels there believing that her friend is engaged to be married to the Count of the castle. When she arrives, she finds it is not at all what she expected. She encounters the family and villagers who share tales of werewolves and vampires. While she begins with a pragmatic view, strange things start to happen that make her question her own beliefs. This was a delightful tale of mystery, murder, romance, intrigue, and tales from the crypt. I enjoyed the main character and her interactions with her friend, the family, and villagers.

  • Malin
    2019-03-01 15:35

    I absolutely adore Deanna Raybourn's three previous books: Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary and Silent on the Moor. They are Victorian mystery novels with a romantic subplot, and delight me immensely. So when I heard that Raybourn had a completely stand-alone book out, inspired by Gothic novels and set in Transylvania, I had to put it on my pre-order list immediately.The book arrived about a week back, and I'm assuming the big-busted lady on the cover is supposed to be the heroine, Theodora. When her grandfather dies, Theodora Lestrange saves her brother-in-law the trouble of having to decide what to do with his spinster, authoress sister-in-law by declaring that she will travel to Transylvania, to attend the wedding of her old school-friend Cosmina. Theodora has written some mystery stories and made a bit of money, and is sure that the evocative surroundings of her friend's exotic home will be the perfect place to write her full-length novel. She ignores the protests of her sister, brother-in-law and publisher/would-be fiance, packs up her meager belongings, and leaves Edinburgh to set off on her adventure.Theodora's friend Cosmina is a poor relative of the Draculescu family, and was sent to school in Germany by her kindly aunt. Once Theodora arrives in Transylvania, she discovers that the Draculescus live in an imposing castle, towering on an inaccessible cliff. She is welcomed by an overjoyed Cosmina, the sickly, but benevolent Dowager Countess and the Count Dragulescu himself, Cosmina's intended. Theodora is instantly drawn to the handsome and imperious Count, but tries to ignore her attraction, as he is to be married to her friend. She is determined she will only observe him to use him to model a character in her novel. But when it is revealed, shortly after her arrival that the Count and Cosmina are not getting married after all, Theodora has a difficult time staying away from him.Transylvania is a place full of ghost stories and superstitions. It is believed that several of the men of the village run off and become wolves in the woods around the full moon. There are whispered rumours about strigoi, or vampires, who haunt the Draculescu castle. Theodora is a practical and pragmatic person, who at first refuses to believe in the stories, but when a maid servant is found in the castle, with puncture wounds on her breast, apparently drained of blood, events start to take a more sinister turn, and it becomes more difficult for her to disbelieve the fantastic tales. The Count is mysterious, pale, brooding and mostly nocturnal. Could he really be a vampire?While The Dead Travel Fast was an enjoyable read, it did not quite live up to the expectations I had, created because of the excellence of Raybourn's previous three novels. It was nice to read a self-contained story, though, which comes to a definite end - no pesky year-long waits for sequels. Theodora is a good protagonist, well-educated thanks to her scholar grandfather, determined to make her own way in the world with her writing, yet not anachronistically free-spirited or forward-thinking for her time, as is sometimes the case with historical heroines.The book is told in first person, meaning we never get to see Andrei (the Count), or any of the other characters' points of view. It helps keep the events more mysterious and suspenseful, but does mean the reader does not really get a very good insight into why Andrei should be so very attractive to Theodora, or why we should care about whether she will end up with him in the end, unsuitably matched though they may be. I didn't dislike the book, and think it's nice when author's occasionally try to go different ways in their writing, but would like Ms. Raybourn to hurry up and write/publish the fourth Lady Julia/Brisbane book soon, now, please.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-10 18:55

    With her Lady Julia Grey novels, Deanna Raybourn has proved herself a master at creating evocative, atmospheric settings and her decision to set her latest Gothic novel, The Dead Travel Fast, in a mysterious and darkly exotic, feudal Transylvania castle can only be labeled as perfectly brilliant.The death of Miss Theodora LeStrange's grandfather and guardian has left her at a impasse. Never one to desire marriage and motherhood she can either move in with her sister - and her many children - or marry a man she likes but does not love. Neither option is particularly appealing to Theodora when her rescue from domesticity arrives in the form of a letter from her school-friend Cosmina, inviting her to come to Castle Dragulescu in Transylvania prior to her upcoming marriage. Convinced this is the opportunity she has been waiting for to write her long-dreamed of novel, Theodora convinces friends and family to let her travel halfway around the world to a place steeped in tradition and superstition. Upon her arrival at Castle Dragulescu, Theodora is delighted to discover more than enough inspiration for her novel - the crumbling, yet majestic castle, the superstitious villagers, howling wind and dangerous wolves, not to mention the enigmatic Count Andrei Dragulescu himself. A figure cut for the most dashing adventures surely. But when a strange, horrifying murder strikes at the castle and rumors of supernatural involvement begin to swirl round, Theodora finds her pragmatic intellectual ideals sorely tested as the chilling and diabolical sequence of events unfold. It is with a heavy heart to say that I truly struggled with this novel - I must have picked it up only to set it down again about twenty different times in the course of a couple of weeks; each time succumbing to the temptation of other, more shiny books. And it makes it even harder to admit when I say I have truly, truly been looking forward to reading it. That's not to say I wasn't impressed with Ms. Raybourn's latest offering - oh no, I was quite enthralled in fact. Perhaps I just wasn't in the proper frame of mind for such a dramatic and chilling Gothic novel. Over the course of Theodora's narrative I seemed to come across each and every ingredient necessary in crafting a traditional Gothic tale as if I was reading with a checklist in hand: the dark, creepy castle; the mysterious and handsome feudal lord with a libertine past and hidden depths; superstitious townsfolk; the first person, diary-style narrative; the introduction of supernatural elements all combined to create a truly haunting narrative -- just not anything particularly unique. Except for the added twist of Theodora's sleuthing - very much reminiscent of Lady Julia's adventures in that just when you think you've got it all figured out, another shocking revelation comes to light. Still, Ms. Raybourn is one of those authors who I have come to trust implicitly and although I didn't *love* The Dead Travel Fast, I very much liked it. And if I say I'm seriously anticipating the next Julia and Brisbane adventure -- Dark Road to Darjeeling -- like wow and boy howdy, would you even hold that against me?

  • Matt Schiariti
    2019-03-23 17:51

    Being a big fan of the Silent novels I was pleased to find that Deanna Raybourn had a new book coming. This is not another Lady Julia novel but that's fine. As big a fan of those books as I am, I liked seeing the difference in setting and tone of the novel.The novel starts in Scotland where Theodora Lestrange hails from. She's a budding author and has close ties to her married sister and brother in law, both of whom feel she's getting a little long in the tooth to not have a husband. As it turns out, her publisher also happens to be in love with her and has proposed marriage. It would be safe and proper for Theodora but those are two things aren't high on her priority list. A stroke of fate gives her the perfect reason to leave the land that is her home and experience a bit of adventure that could likely make wonderful research for a new novel.An old school friend of hers that she hasn't seen in years has sent word from Transylvania that she's to be wed to the new count. Theodora sees this as a great, if not a little intimidating, prospect to see a mysterious land that has born so many legends over the years as well as seeing a friend she cares for greatly. What Theodora experiences during her stay at the Castle Dragelscu is both frightening and thrilling. She was prepared to enjoy the company of her friend, but she wasn't entirely prepared for the mysteries of the exotic Transylvanian mountains, its people, and the even more mysterious new count. What's more, something bad happens at the castle during her stay. Is it mere human treachery or something more evil?This book does have shades of the Lady Julia series in it. A strong heroine getting involved in something that's seemingly beyond her experiences, a mysterious and near intoxicating strange man thrown into the middle of her life. Those were both staples of the Silent series. What makes this book even more interesting is the setting. Transylvania. With its legends of werewolves and vampires and the very simple and superstitious townspeople, it makes a great backdrop for a great mystery. Raybourn mixes mystery with vampire lore and Transylvanian imagery to great effect to make a very engrossing read.The Dead Travel Fast has the signature stamp of Deanna Raybourn on it, but it was a nice change to see a perfectly different setting. The book's also darker because of the location and the wonderful sense of place. Thick, dark woods..the shadow of the Carpathian mountains looming overhead, a once majestic castle that's fallen into decline, etc.I like when favorite authors of mine take a slight departure from a well established series of theirs and manage to put it off and she has done that with The Dead Travel Fast. It's not your typical vampire novel, but it's not your typical mystery book either. Those two things make it a great read.

  • Kelley
    2019-03-25 14:47

    Courtesy of AmazonSpinster writer Theodora LeStrange’s grandfather has recently passed away, leaving her with a small inheritance that she can live on, if she is careful with her money. However, Theodora has dreams that do not involve settling down into being a wife and mother as society dictates. When a childhood friend, Cosmina, invites Theodora to visit her in Cosmina’s fiancé’s home in Transylvania, Theodora leaps at the chance. What better way to be inspired in the writing of her novel than to travel to a land where legends of vampires and other creatures are commonplace? Upon arrival, Theodora is drawn into a mystery surrounding some suspicious deaths, giving credence to the ancient legends. However, even more dangerous to Theodora is her irresistible attraction to Count Andrei Dragulescu, owner of the castle… and Cosmina’s intended husband. If she’s not careful, Theodora may be risking much more than her heart when she discovers The Dead Travel Fast.I really wanted to like The Dead Travel Fast and I tried very hard to do so. This could have been a good novel, the foundation was there. However, it was never built upon as it should have been. Sadly, I could not get into this book for anything. I put it aside several times to start again later until I couldn’t put it off anymore and forced my way through it. I was bored with it most of the time and kept wondering when it was going to get better, only for it to never happen. I felt like the author meant for this to be a dark and scary novel, but while she had the dark Gothic elements down, the fear never really was there for me. I didn’t feel the fear of the characters, I just kept being told about it.I never really warmed up to either Theodora or Andrei before the end of the story. I didn’t really feel the connection between them and they didn’t seem to have much chemistry together. As I stated before, it was too much telling and not enough showing of their passion for one another.I really just didn’t find too much to redeem this novel for me beyond the exploration of many of the legends of vampires, werewolves and strigoi, etc that Deanna Raybourn explores in The Dead Travel Fast. With its slow paced story and uninspiring characters, I struggled to finish. What makes it doubly disappointing for me is that I have heard so many rave reviews about Raybourn’s Lady Julia series and I own all the books but haven’t read them yet. Now because of my blasé opinion of The Dead Travel Fast, I am hesitant to try any of the Lady Julia novels.© Kelley A. Hartsell, September 2010. All rights reserved.

  • Holly
    2019-03-10 20:51

    With her grandfather dead and hardly a penny to her name, soon-to-be spinster Theodora Lestrange is set to be a burden on her sister and her husband or marry a man she doesn't love. That is until her old school friend Cosmina invites her to Rumania to see her married. Happy to fend for herself rather than be looked after by her thoughtful yet prudish brother-in-law, Theodora leaves Scotland for the Transylvanian mountains with only a few dresses and pen and paper to continue her writing. But upon arrival she finds even more inspiration than she bargained for. The once grand castle is now in decay, and there are ridiculous rumors in the village of vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural beings. Most mysterious of all is Count Dragulescu himself. Dark, brooding, and alluring, Theodora is fascinated with him without knowing exactly why. The Count also shows an interest but is it merely seduction or could it be more? Their connection may prove fatal to both as a murder at the castle casts suspicion on all its inhabitants. This was a very different read style-wise from the Lady Julia series but interesting and engulfing nonetheless. What I liked most was the ambiguity of the supernatural element. As I read I asked the same questions as Theodora - Could these creatures actually exist or is it just folklore? More than once you think you have what is real and what is not worked out before you're given more evidence refuting it. Not everything was spelled out and in the end I was still guessing. Rather than being confused or frustrated I was left intrigued by the unanswered questions that remained. Just as in the Lady Julia series the writing is flawless here yet more descriptive and atmospheric. The ancient, ruined castle; the gossiping villagers; the unexplained howling wolves and disappearances; a mysterious murder; unearthed corpses - this is Jane Eyre meets Victorian horror - a Gothic novel through and through. When I was finished I felt like Deanna Raybourn's Translyvania actually existed, her all-critical Gothic setting was spot-on. Add that to a perfectly satisfying ending and it doesn't matter what it is - I will read anything Ms. Raybourn writes.

  • Rea
    2019-03-22 15:45

    The book itself was essentially good, but I was expecting (from the blurb) something more horror with a touch of romance and instead I got romance with a touch of the supernatural. Compared with the Julia Grey series, this romance wasn't as solid and seemed to be based on little more than physical attraction - though this book had a lot crammed into only 300 pages.The plot itself seemed to kick off and got very interesting about half way through the book but then suffered a relapse and went back to meandering about until about 50 pages from the end. That said, the book was very good and I really enjoyed it. Raybourn obviously did a lot of research for this; her descriptions are wonderful and the story is engaging.--- After second reading ---I think that I was able to enjoy this book more the second time around than I did the first time I read it. The first time around I was expecting a supernatural horror story; the second time I knew I was going into a mystery novel.Raybourn's ability to create such a vivid atmosphere of middle-of-nowhere Translyvania, where the locals still cling to ancient superstitions, is admirable. I felt the isolatedness of the castle and the village oozing from the pages. I enjoyed the descriptions of the area - it sounds positively stunning and I would love to visit the Carpathians one day - and the local folklore was fun and interesting to read about. I only wish there'd been more of it! I adore Eastern European folklore.There are some passages where the narrator is apt to rambling, the sheer length of them making it difficult to retain all the information they offer. The story is also somewhat slow in parts: this frustrated me last year but I was able to appreciate them more this time around.Deanna Raybourn tries very hard to make her language the British English of the area. She misses some spellings - in particular in this book she often describes things as being 'medieval' instead of 'mediaeval' - but she does extremely well. Her style is not the most sophisticated out there but it is one that suits what I want from a book very well. It is her style that has cemented her a place as one of my favourite authors.