Saturday, September 4, 2010

Naked Came the Phoenix


Naked Came the Phoenix is a serial novel in which 13 female mystery authors each contributed a chapter to make up a the whole novel. They were given the setting, main characters, order of their chapters and a few simple rules such as write in the third person and no pursuing each other for favors. No asking the person before you to set a clue, hide a murder weapon or leave a certain character alive. Each writer had to take what they were given by the previous author and do what they could, which at times included making a mess for the next to clean up...which was of course, part of the fun.

Caroline Blessing, newly married to Congressman Douglas Blessing, is taken by her mom to visit a sybaritic spa for a week of relaxation after her father died. Not long after they check in however, they discover the body of the spa's owner laying in a mud bath with a shawl tied tightly around her neck. Amazingly none of the other guest saw anything. Not the long famous rock star, the anorexic model, the popular actress or the washed out movie producer, and to add to the verisimilitude, and the detectives frustration, no one is saying anything without their overpriced lawyers...or, they aren't saying anything until the bodies start stacking up.

As you can see on the picture, there were some pretty famous, and talented authors on the list, which made things, shall we say, interesting. Every chapter was a different style, and at times was inconsistent. You honestly had no idea what the characters would do since every author would turn them into who they wanted them to be. It was a bit frustrating. However, at the end of it, Laurie R. King somehow managed to take all of the twist, turns and discrepancies and make them make sense. She did a wonderful job of it, and she is what made the other, somewhat discouraging chapters come together. In my mind, Ms. King is the master of the suspense novel.

Naked Came the Phoenix

6 comments:

seana said...

Trust Laurie King to pull it all together. What can't that woman do?

Glenna said...

She is talented. I'm looking forward to reading some of her out of series books.

seana said...

Try Folly.

Glenna said...

That's one on my shelf waiting to be read actually :)

seana said...

Go to it, then. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to go off to an island and build yourself a cabin...

Glenna said...

Too late, I'd already like to do that.

Right now I'm trying to get through Nicolis Spark's The Guardian....it's very slow going...