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Hardcover Naked Came the Phoenix Book

ISBN: 0312251947

ISBN13: 9780312251949

Naked Came the Phoenix

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Blending a Voice: Naked Came The Phoenix

When I saw this awhile back at my local library, I was intrigued with the concept but very skeptical of the results. In this serial novel written to benefit Breast Cancer Research, Marcia Talley brought together thirteen female mystery authors together to create a serial novel. The thirteen authors are: Nevada Barr, Nora Roberts, Nancy Pickard, Lisa Scottoline, Perri O'Shaughnessy, J. A. Jance, Faye Kellerman, Mary Jane Clark, Anne Perry, Diana Gabaldon, Val McDermid, Laurie R. King and the editor herself, Marcia Talley, who also adds a chapter. With that much talent and totally different writing styles and perceptions involved, I expected a choppy, uneven novel. While that does happen in a couple of places, overall the merge is very good with plenty of surprising twists and turns to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end.The novel opens with quite a cast of characters that have brought to the very upscale Phoenix Spa in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Featured front and center is Caroline Blessing, the young wife of a recently elected congressman and her overpowering mother, Hilda Finch. Two weeks earlier, Caroline's father, Hamlin Finch died due to throat cancer no doubt because of all the angry words trapped in his throat to Caroline's thinking. Hilda is a real piece of work and always gets her way by any means possible. Hilda has strongly insisted that she come to the Spa with her and Caroline, full of resentment, has done as she asked. Hilda knows the owner, Claudia de Vries from their first year at Brown University and their relationship is clearly not the best.Soon after introducing a number of characters, the Spa owner is found dead in a mud bath and clearly a victim of strangulation. Detective Vince Toscana, far from his beloved home in Philadelphia, is called to investigate and soon finds the fellow guests are less than helpful. Almost all of them have secrets and as rich, important people simply can't be bothered with a little problem of murder in their midst. What follows is a Colombo style movie of the week literary version with homage to Agatha Christie as the bodies begin to fall and his investigation seems to go nowhere. Caroline is forced to help against her wishes and uncovers more about her life and her past than she ever wanted to know.Overall, this is a well-written novel and it flows from start to finish. There is the occasional glitch as one author or another takes a character off on a different tangent, but overall this book works surprisingly well. The glitches are very minor and if anything, seem to add to the work and to remind the reader that this was a serial novel in the tradition of Naked Came the Manatee and Naked Came The Stranger. If you are looking for a work that symbolizes each author's unique writing style then this novel is not for you. But if you are interested in seeing how thirteen literary voices could be blended into one style, you won't be disappointed. A bit melodramatic at times, this is still one

Great novel-- especially the way it was written.

When I saw this book on the bookshelf, I stopped to look at it because I'd read Naked Came the Manatee. In the same tradition as Manatee, this book is written by numerous authors; each author writes a chapter and passes it onto the next one. Since the authors don't know how the next one will develop the story, this book has many characters and plot twists.Just when the reader thinks they like a character, a new author gets a hold of the story and then you don't like that character anymore. Or a character you don't like suddenly has reasons for their behavior, so they aren't so bad. Since there isn't any foreshadowing, there are few clues or foreshadowing to events that occur, creating an story where the reader just wants to know what's going to happened next.Filled with blackmail, murder, deception and quirky characters, I recommend this book for a weekend read or a fun vacation book.

Delightful and Fun

I really enjoyed this serial novel. It was wonderful how each author continued the story. They blended their ideas beautifully. There were surprises at every turn. I was sorry when I read the last line, because I had finished the book and just wanted to keep on reading. Once I picked this book up, I didn't want so stop. I really hope they come together to write another serial book.

Great beach read!

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!!!

What a hoot!

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"!!
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