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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Quite a departure for Raybourn

The Dead Travel Fast - Deanna Raybourn

Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia series was my favorite historical mystery series for quite a long while, and I was incredibly disappointed when the publisher decided not to continue with the series. I also liked her three books set during the interwar period, which had an interesting tie-in to the Lady Julia series. I'm not sure if there are more of those on the horizon or not.


Her most recent series start, A Curious Beginning, didn't capture me the way that her other books have, but, given that it is Deanna Raybourn, I'm going to hope that it gets stronger in subsequent books.


And then we have this little book, which is markedly different from anything else she has written. The Dead Travel Fast is really a modern romantic homage to Dracula and the gothic romance tradition (in fact, if they had asked me, I would've told them that the book really needed a cover of Theodora running from the Castle Dragulescu. They didn't ask, but, in my estimation, the buxom dark beauty on the cover of this book does a fairly abysmal job making me want to read it).


The book has gotten mixed reviews, in part, probably, because readers bought this book after enjoying Lady Julia, and The Dead Travel Fast is just a bit of a misfit as compared to her other books. For what it was, though, it is an enjoyable read. Theodora is an interesting, albeit anachronistic, Victorian heroine. The mysteries of Castle Dragulescu are creepy, and as far as a gothic romance goes, it hits the marks that I expect to see. The Castle, which is arguably haunted by the strigoi spirit of the recently dead Count Dragulescu, and Transylvania itself are always fine settings for this sort of a tale. The villain is a surprise, and the ending is properly happy. It's not groundbreaking, but it's a pleasant read.


It also fills the Ghost Stories & Haunted Houses Castles square!