From the back cover:
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 Roumania, 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.
I loved Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia series when I read it this winter. I also enjoyed reading The Dead Travel Fast.
It reminded me a lot of Victoria Holt's novels. Specifically, it reminded me of The Devil on Horseback, which just happens to be my favorite Holt novel.
The book begins with the death of Theodora's grandfather, in the opening pages Theodora's brother-in-law wonders what is to be done with her. That question is answered when she receives a letter from her school friend Cosmina, inviting Theodora to visit her in Transylvania. So Theodora travels from modern western Europe to feudal eastern Europe. She enters a world completely foreign from her own.
The Dead Travel Fast is a very atmospheric novel. I could see the dense woods, and hear the howls of the wolves as I was reading. I could easily visualize the decaying castle at the top of the mountain. It was a wonderful book to escape into.