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Naked Came The Phoenix (2001)

Naked Came the Phoenix (2001)

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3.56 of 5 Votes: 2
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0312251947 (ISBN13: 9780312251949)
minotaur books

About book Naked Came The Phoenix (2001)

Another serial novel is out, this time written by female mystery authors. (Authoresses?)Remember Naked Came the Manatee? This is the same sort of deal: The thirteen chapters are each written by a different author in the tradition of that 1969 book, Naked Came the Stranger.Stranger was purportedly written by a Connecticut housewife named Penelope Ashe but was in reality written by 24 Newsday journalists. Editor Marcia Talley was approached by her publisher to do the book. She knew Val McDermid and Laurie King, and then contacted several other authors about the project, including Nevada Barr, Lisa Scottoline, and the sisters Perri (Mary and Pamela) O'Shaughnessy. Each was given a month to complete her chapter.One of the things I really liked about Naked Came the Manatee was how each chapter demonstrated the author's style. In Phoenix, the chapters flow together so seamlessly, you forget you're reading a serial. I was particularly impressed with how well Laurie King wrapped up every loose end the others had created.The writing is pretty light. Caroline Blessing, our heroine, takes her grieving mother to the Phoenix Spa for some R&R. It isn't long before trouble finds Caroline - the spa's owner is murdered and left in a mud bath. The story begins twisting there and keeps winding tighter until the end. The characters are colorful and witty. It's a fun read.Mississippi author Nevada Barr is the award-winning author of the Anna Pigeon mystery series - the latest is Blood Lure. She is currently working on her tenth novel.Mary Jane Clark is a producer and writer at CBS News, as well as the author of media thrillers Do You Want to Know a Secret? (1998), Do You Promise Not to Tell? (1999), Let Me Whisper In Your Ear (2000), and Close To You, which came out in September 2001.Diana Gabaldon has just completed the fifth volume in her award-winning "Outlander" series - The Fiery Cross - and is heading out on tour soon.J.A. Jance writes two police procedural series featuring Detective J.P. Beaumont (12 titles) and Sheriff Joanna Brady (9 titles).Faye Kellerman is the author of 15 novels, including Stalker: A Novel and The Forgotten.Laurie R. King writes two crime fiction series and has published 11 novels. Her most recent work is Folly (2001). She has won the Edgar, the Creasey, and the Nero Wolfe awards, and has been nominated for many others. British author Val McDermid has published 15 novels and one non-fiction book, and has won the Gold Dagger and the French Grand Prix des Romans d'Aventures. Her most recent novel is A Place of Execution.Perri O'Shaughnessy, author of 5 New York Times bestselling novels, is really two sisters who collaborate on a series of legal thrillers and short stories. Their most recent release is Writ of Execution(2001).Author of the acclaimed Victorian series starring William Monk and Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, Anne Perry has written more than 30 novels, including the 2001-release, A Dish Taken Cold. She has won many awards, among them the Herodotus for Lifetime Achievement and the Edgar.Nancy Pickard is the author of two mystery series. Her books include Confession and The Whole Truth, which was recently nominated for an Edgar Award.J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) is the New York Times bestselling author of the futuristic "In Death" romantic suspense series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas. Her most recent is Judgment In Death.Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including legal thrillers Moment of Truth (2000) and Mistaken Identity (1999). Everywhere That Mary Went (1994), was nominated for the Edgar Award; Final Appeal (1995), won the Edgar the next year. Her latest novel, The Vendetta Defense was released this year.Ohio author Marcia Talley just released Occasion of Revenge. Her debut novel, Sing It to Her Bones, won the coveted Malice Domestic Grant in 1998, and was a Mystery Guild Featured Alternate for Fall 1999.

I picked this up because I assumed it was an anthology of short stories, and I saw JD Robb's name on it. Rather, it's a serial mystery, each chapter written by a different author. Sounds really intriguing, right? Especially with a bunch of well known, well-liked successful authors. Totally wrong. This really sucked - the characters were awful and boring (Caroline could have been likeable, except every time she started to grow a bit of a spine they let her fall apart again). The other characters were all very unlikeable and their personalities seemed a bit disjointed - probably due to having a different author each chapter. A single author can show a different side to a character and their story still seems continuous, but it seemed like each time you saw a new facet of the character you didnt see quite enough for it to feel genuine. (view spoiler)[At some point, once you realize that for some reason each guest was essentially summoned by Claudia, you realize that this feels an awfully lot like And Then There Were None - then they start dying off and it's annoying to have all these great authors ripping off Agatha Christie. Then you get to the denouement in the final chapter and it's more than annoying and into tacky. I was extremely irked at Douglas and Caroline at the end - one, that Douglas would believe any such stupid nonsense he was told WITHOUT DNA TESTING, and two, that Caroline just went right back to him. Plus, once you find out who she's related too you realize her family is made up of all these amazing and talented and cool people, and she's just a waste of space. (hide spoiler)]

Do You like book Naked Came The Phoenix (2001)?

This is a serial novel, each chapter written by 13 female mystery writers. Caroline Blessing, married to a newly elected Tennessee congressman, with her newly widowed mother, Hilda, to a very fancy Phoenix spa. She has never been close to her mother. The first night at the spa, the spa's owner, Hilda's college roommate, is murdered. Caroline finds out some things about her past, and her husband, and does some sleuthing. More murders and attempts occur. The book is fun and a quick read, but doesn't have a lot of depth.

This book was written by thirteen mystery writers, each of which wrote a chapter. The preceding chapters were delivered to the next author, who had to carry the plot along and then hand it to the next author. I read it because I was curious to see the results of that process and because my wife had already bought and read it.The book was more seamless than I expected. I could not tell a significant difference in style except that I could tell Nevada Barr did not write more than the first chapter. The rest of the book lacks her distinctive phrases and descriptions.As a mystery book it is second rate. In the end I wished that Nevada Barr had written the whole book.

Naked Came The Phoenix was a book selection for two of my local reading groups because we were intrigued by its unusual format. Twelve bestselling mystery and suspense author joined together to contribute a chapter to this murder-mystery, soap-opera. The catch? Each other must pick up where the last left off and continue the story using the same cast of characters, all of who get zanier as the story progresses.The opening chapter written by Nevada Barr sets up the story and, in my opinion, was the driest, dullest entry in the entire book. It¡¯s here that the lifeless main characters are introduced (luckily they don¡¯t stay that way!). After the recent death of her father, Caroline, wife of a big shot Congressman, agrees to spend some quality bonding time with her difficult mother at a high-end health spa. Caroline¡¯s fellow guests at the spa include an aging rock legend, a quirky psychic, a starving model and loads of other oddballs and Hollywood ¡°it¡± types.After the slow start, JD Robb picks up the tempo in chapter two. She breaths life into Caroline¡¯s character by bringing her down to earth in a funny little adventure brought about by hunger. She also adds a hunky pool-boy to the ever growing list of characters and kicks things into high gear by killing off the snooty spa owner.Things get silly as each character seems to harbor some dirty secret and the murder count becomes ridiculously high as each author adds their own little twists and turns to the story and attempts to pick up where the previous author left off. A friend of mine described the characters as ¡°manic depressives¡± and she was right on. Each character switches moods and personalities from chapter to chapter which only added to the sense of fun. Eventually, all dangling threads and over-the-top plot twists were neatly brought together by author Laurie King.I¡¯d read another book like Naked Came The Phoenix for the fun factor alone. But would I read this one again? Umm, probably not.
¡ªBark's Book Nonsense

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