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Virginia Coffman
(04-25-2011, 05:00 PM)sara Wrote:
(04-25-2011, 04:29 AM)Penfeather Wrote: Re: atmosphere. This aspect of a story -- perhaps more than characterization, I admit -- is one of the primary reasons I read novels. It's an underrated commodity in today's literary market, which seems preoccupied with dysfunction. The mood I look for in a good gothic is hard to describe -- sinister and yet soothing somehow -- and it's equally hard to find. Not all gothics are created equal. Coffman definitely had atsmophere down, and it's good to hear that she knew her strengths.

I agree, for a gothic to work atmosphere is everything. For me the setting is as important as the people and in a well written gothic, the buildings and locations take on a life of their own which enriches the story rather than detracts from it.

I know this thread is very old, but I wanted to thank you for getting straight the order of the Moura series! Another website that I check frequently (before I found this one!) had the order wrong, listing by the later reprints and not the original publishing dates. I began reading what actually turned out being the third in the series, instead of the second, because of the error. I could tell the story didn't flow and sure enough, after finding this thread, my suspicions were confirmed.

Thanks again! Loving Coffman, by the way. I had never heard of her until recently, and I love her atmospheric writing and the plot twists at the end, at least in the books I've read by her so far.

(11-21-2010, 01:03 PM)Miranda Wrote: What are all the books in the Moura series? I have Moura and The Vicar of Moura. The Vampyre of Moura, and The Dark Beyond Moura are on order. I know there's a Return to Moura. Is that all?

From what I can make out, these are the books that make the Moura series but it’s a bit confusing as some were re-issued with different titles:

1. Moura (New York, Crown 1959)
2. The Beckoning (New York, Ace 1965 and as The Beckoning from Moura 1977)
3. The Devil Vicar (New York, Ace, 1966; revised edition as Vicar of Moura 1972.)
4. The Dark Gondola (New York, Ace, 1968; and as The Dark Beyond Moura , 1977)
5. The Vampyre of Moura (New York, Ace 1970)
6. Return to Moura (1999)
I discovered Virginia Coffman about a year ago when I received a Kindle as a gift and went searching for Gothics available in e-form.  I ran across her Moura books listed on Kindle but a lot of people complained that the ebooks were awful with complete pages missing and tons of typos (this seemed to be the case with a lot of the older books available on Kindle) so I decided to search out the hard copies to read.  I have to say I found 'Moura' to be one of the best, if not the best Gothic I have ever read.  I thought the entire series was fabulous but the first book stood out the most for me.  I have since read many of her books and am currently about half way through 'The Mist at Darkness' which I am enjoying very much.  I have been a fan of Phyllis Whitney for many years but I agree that Coffman is better. 

It should be noted that if you are buying the entire Moura series, 'The Devil Vicar' and 'Return to Moura' are the same book.
I really enjoyed Moura. Solid, atmospheric writing, a main heroine who is pretty pro-active... The twist at the end was not particularly surprising, but it was alright! I'm definitely going to read more of Coffman's works.
Samarah2122 Wrote: I am glad to find a place where I can pay tribute to Virginia Coffman's Moura. I read it as a teenager -- many years ago. In my 30s I searched for it so I could read it again. I think it is a fine modern gothic novel -- one of the finest.

Looking for books by Virginia Coffman? See all books authored by Virginia Coffman, including The Dark Palazzo, and The Beach House, and more on

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