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Naked Came the Phoenix

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  941 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 16th 2002 by Minotaur Books (first published August 1st 2001)
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Bark's Book Nonsense
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 t
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 an
Jun 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scottoline-lisa
This is a serial novel in the manner of "Naked Came the Manatee", " Naked Came the Stranger", "The Floating Admiral" and others. Thirteen women mystery/crime writers collaberated to write this novel and gave a portion of the royalties to breast cancer research.
Contributing authors are:
Chapter 1 - Navada Barr
Chapter 2 - Nora Roberts (J. D. Robb)
Chapter 3 - Nancy Pickard
Chapter 4 - Lisa Scottoline
Chapter 5 - Perri O'Shaughnessy (Pam and Mary)
Chapter 6 - J. A. Jance
Chapter 7 - Faye Kellerman
Written by many different detective fiction authors (all women), this book is, at times, rather disjointed and somewhat unbelievable. All that being said, it was great fun!!! I enjoyed seeing my favorite authors writing in a different setting and even a different time.
Slone Britain
Aug 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dull reading

Sort of an interesting story line. Lots of murders and one totally unnecessary. Seemed very contrived and there is a pattern to the writing. Dull.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun book. It was a quick, light read.
Peggy Thomson
Collaborative exercise with 12 female mystery writers including JD Robb, Laurie King. “Oh, what a bloody mess! Hallelujah!” Rather fun exercise, if you disregard the plenitude of corpses. Intro is a must read.
The e-book version lists Nevada Barr as author.
LInda L
Not so great -- Nevada Barr was a contributor to this book.
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Naked Came the Phoenix a serial novel edited by Marcia Talley ISBN 0312251947

This book is just plain wonderful. I have bought numerous short story books for the libraries, however they rarely circulate for few people like short stories. I think that most patrons want to sit and read a story from beginning to end … not a series of short little clips.

This book is not a short story collection — it is a serial novel. One author starts the premise and leaves at the end of the chapter, the next author
This book is a serial novel, meaning that it was written by 13 different people, some of whom happen to be among my favorite mystery authors, including Anne Perry, J. A. Jance, and Lisa Scotoline. The original project was given to Marcia Talley by her agent, the idea was that each of the individual authors was to write their own chapter in the third person point of view, with each chapter building on whatever had come before, with the fun coming about because each successive author twisted the p ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Told by a different author in each chapter, in the style of Naked Came the Stranger and Naked Came the Manatee--each author writes their own twist and plants their own clues, leaving the next to pick up the threads. The resulting story is very twisty and complicated, delightfully so for a whodunit fan.

Caroline Blessing is the wife of a Congressman, and the daughter of a difficult, demanding, power hungry mother. It's not exactly the most restful place to be, but Caroline does her best to meet ex
Mar 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a ridiculous number of dead bodies piling up in this book, but that is nothing compared to all of the characters who were given up for adoption as infants. It makes one’s heap spin keeping track of all the characters’ ever shifting relationships with one another. Murders aside, everything else that goes on is very similar to a soap opera, except in a soap opera all the secrets would be revealed over the course of about five years, rather than a few days. There are a few plot inconsiste ...more
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this at the library. It was published 15 years ago with some of the great female mystery writers each writing a chapter of this mystery novel. The proceeds of the book went to beat cancer research. So I loved going into it the concept and purpose of the book. Plus it had some of my favorite writers, J.D. Robb, Lisa Scottaline, Diana Gabaldon to name just a few. But I guess because each had one chapter it was a fairly simple book. No one had the time to develop the characters or story proba ...more
Candy Hart
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My book club decided we needed a light book and a member chose this one. At first it seems a strange concept to have thirteen female mystery writers, without collaboration, write this book, chapter by chapter. The first chapter is the slowest because Nevada Barr had the task of setting the scene and introducing the characters. J.D. Robb took chapter two to set up the murder and she did it with her usual style and descriptiveness. From there, I found it fun to notice the style of the authors show ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book that didn't survive Shelfari. I don't remember exactly when I read it, definitely more than ten years ago, and it introduced me to some of my favorite female authors: J.D. Robb, Laurie R. King, and Nevada Barr. It was written in 2001, and IMHO, it copied(somewhat) "Naked Came the Manatee(1997), a book co-written by 13 different authors, who were all from Florida, including Carl Hiaasen(another favorite of mine), Dave Barry, and Elmore Leonard. "Phoenix" was co-written by 14 female a ...more
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy serial collaborations; I think there's a lot of opportunity for creativity and it must be a ton of fun to participate. This one, though it included some of my favorite authors, had quite a lot of ridiculousness to it. The characters' personalities changed from chapter to chapter, the plot twists became more and more unlikely, and by the time I got to the last chapter, I was mentally wishing Laurie R. King good luck on pulling something, anything, coherent together. She did a pretty good ...more
Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
This book was wonderful! Each chapter written by a different author and it was funny, suspenseful, awe-inspiring! To be able to write a chapter based on the characters, clues and information that the previous author had written and each chapter gave a new twist! Kudos to Laurie R. King for being able to pull it all together at the end. Wow! Agatha would be proud of these ladies! Plus, I get to add 8 new authors to my list of authors to read! It was fun for me to read the five authors I've read b ...more
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can one give a 2.5 rating? I guess not and I will round up. It is a serial novel written by some of my favorite authors, but not edited as well as it could have been. Each author could have written less or they could have cut back an author. It began to drag toward the end and to get more and more contrived as each wanted to add a creative twist. A good concept with excellent writers, but ultimately it fell flat. Reminds me of the expression that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. A sho ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the concept of each author writing a chapter, which could and did cause some twists and turns. For me, the story lost some continuity because where one author attempted to make a character a sympathetic personality, the next would turn that character into the polar opposite. Tells me I get very engaged with the characters! Given the format, it was a pretty good tale and kudos to the last in the line who was left to mop up all the pieces and make them into a plausible ending.
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this!

how did I ever miss this book when it came out so many years ago? I loved that each chapter was written by a different author who was given what was previously written and a set of rules to follow to continue the story.
the twists and turns were great fun oh and the challenge of pulling together the ending! fun stuff, I hope there's more like this, I'm going to look right now!
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A book written by 12 (I think - maybe 13) different mystery authors - one for each chapter. It was a fun concept to consider and a fun book to read - surprisingly the story hung together very well and after the first page or two of each chapter, I totally forgot that there was a different author writing. I'd love to hear the authors talk about their experience and how the ending was like or not what they had imagined when writing their own chapter.
J. Ewbank
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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'"
Denise Link
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What fun! Each chapter of this mystery is written by a different female author. You can almost feel them setting each other up, laying clues that writers of subsequent chapters will have to sort out and acount for. I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. And I met some authors new to me whose writing I'll be seeking out.
Kimz Zahour
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: roberts_jd_robb
13 female authors, including J.D. Robb, each write a chapter of this murder mystery. I was very excited about the concept and some of the proceeds went to a breast cancer foundation. It must have been more fun for them to write than it actually was to read. Most of the styles did blend well together but in the end it was just okay.
Nov 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a serial novel, with each chapter written by a different author (Nevada Barr, Faye Kellerman, J.D. Robb, Anne Perry, etc.), and I believe the proceeds went toward breast cancer research.
I liked it very much -right up until the end, which didn't fit with the beginning and didn't make a whole lot of sense.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Love these types of books where a different author writes each chapter. Gets very intriguing as it is hard to figure out direction the story is actually taking. Very much enjoyed it. Great characters and even the development of main characters evolve throughout the book. Looking forward to more of this type.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, mysteries
Imagine being at a party with a bunch of your favorite female mystery writers and they get involved in telling a story together - that's what this serial novel is like. The story is secondhand, although woven together well. I really enjoyed seeing the different fun and creative plot twists the authors came up with.
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Nevada Barr is a mystery fiction author, known for her "Anna Pigeon" series of mysteries, set in National Parks in the United States. Barr has won an Agatha Award for best first novel for Track of the Cat.

Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in
More about Nevada Barr...
“look at Caroline’s hands.” 0 likes
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