The promise of discretion and pampering-and a long-overdue reconciliation with her mother-draws Caroline Blessing, the young wife of a newly-elected Congressman, to the fancy Phoenix Spa. But after her first night in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Caroline wakes to find the rich and famous guests in turmoil and under suspicion: the spa's flamboyant and ambitious owner has been murdered. As the secrets come out-and the body count rises, can Caroline keep herself from becoming the next victim? <
Editor Marcia Talley is the Agatha and Anthony Award-winning author of the Hannah Ives mysteries, including In Death's Shadow, All Things Undying and A Quiet Death. She is the editor of I'd Kill for That.<
"Naked Came the Phoenix is sheer fun, a tongue-in-cheek triumph that will perplex and amuse you!"--Romantic Times"An all-star lineup of 13 women mystery authors has produced one madcap, murderous tale...readers will relish the resulting comic soap opera murder mystery, taking especial pleasure in watching these pros deftly recast a scene, a clue, or a character to keep the story rollicking along."--Publishers Weekly
Read another book one time that was similar to this in that a group of authors wrote the book, each one writing a chapter. It was disjointed at times, just like this one and was not as good as any one of the many authors could have written.
Unfortunately this is also true of this book. Don't think I will read another book that is written by a group of authors in this manner.
J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Naked Came the Phoenix is a riot from beginning to end! When Caroline and her mother visit the Phoenix Spa in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, they expect rest and relaxation, but soon after their arrival, the spa's owner is found dead in the mud baths and the "fun" begins! Thirteen popular mystery writers take the reader on a roller-coaster ride of murder, mayhem and mirth. What fun to watch one author plant a clue then lean back, rub her hands together and wait to see what the next author does with it! Kudos to Nevada Barr for introducing us to the cast of supporting characters -- King David, the aged rocker; Ondine, the wrath-like model; Howie Fondulac, the has-been Hollywood producer; Lauren Sullivan, the movie star; and my particular favorite, Phyllis Talmadge, the psychic who's at the spa touting her latest book, Flex Your Psychic Muscles! Brava, Lisa Scottoline for giving us detective Vince Toscana, who "retired" to rural Virginia to please his wife, but wants nothing more than to sink his teeth into a Philly cheese steak, and, oh, by-the-way, solve the murders. Wheee, to JA Jance who drowns a victim in the lake and to Faye Kellerman, who knew CPR! Ka-pow, to Diana Gabaldon who really knows how to throw the reader a curve. Ye-gads, to Val McDermid who gives new meaning to the word "incarnadine". Wow, to the amazing Laurie King, who ties up all the loose ends with delicious tongue-in-cheek humor. And, thank you, Marcia Talley who sewed the patchwork together into one, seamless novel and is a heck of a writer, too!! All I can say is, "Encore"!!
First of all, to enjoy this sort of novel, you have to be able to appreciate what's going on behind the scenes: backstabbing; plot-twisting; character reinventions. And I'm not talking about the story itself. I'm talking about what the 13 authors are trying to do to each other!
The genre originated wonderfully with the august members of the British Detection Club way back in 1931, in a "serial" novel in which the various authors contrived ways to skullduggle not only the reader but each other and try to make it almost impossible for the final writer to wrap everything up neatly and tie it with a bowknot. That effort, "The Floating Admiral," is still the very best of its type. More recently, it's been done with sparkling wit by the Miami bunch including Carl Hiassen and Dave Barry in a delicious romp entitled "Naked Came the Manatee."
Now it's been tackled by a baker's dozen of America's female mystery writers. Yes, the plot is silly. Yes, the characters aren't all that fully developed. But who cares? The enjoyment of this book, as the others, is in seeing what each successive writer is doing to skewer what has already been written (without, however, contradicting it) and send the story reeling in a provocatively new direction. New openings are abruptly cut off at the knees. (Is she dead? Or is she only concussive?) Contrasting scenarios challenge what you think you've already assuredly figured out.
It doesn't really matter who winds up having done what to whom. If you're enjoying the wicked twists being perpetrated not by the characters but by their creators, then what you're looking for is how the final writer responds to the challenge of wrapping everything up with no loose ends and no plot spins left twisting in the wind--not even the yellow polkadot bikini! And in this regard, Laurie King shines splendidly.
As I closed the book, I was imagining the final dinner party those naughty thirteen were having after they all got to read King's inventive closure, and what a laugh they were enjoying. But the laughter is not at our expense. We share in it.
I had read one serial novel, Naked Came the Manatee, before and didn't think it was so hot, so I wasn't sure I should buy Naked Came the Phoenix, but since it was written by just about my all-time favorite mystery authors, I bought it this weekend and boy, am I glad I did!! It's so funny!!! I loved the way the quirky characters were introduced in chapter one and how each author picked up the threads in her chapter and added twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. It was fun to read the different writing styles and I was amazed how well each author picked up on the "vibes" of the previous author. Awesome!!!
"Naked Came the Phoenix is sheer fun, a tongueincheek triumph that will perplex and amuse you!"Romantic Times"An allstar lineup of 13 women mystery authors has produced one madcap, murderous tale...readers will relish the resulting comic soap opera murder mystery, taking especial pleasure in watching these pros deftly recast a scene, a clue, or a character to keep the story rollicking along."