Barbra Annino
Opal Fire
Stacy Justice Mysteries, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

In this debut novel of the Stacy Justice Gemstone Mystery series, we are introduced to Stacy who hails from a family of witches, but she has spent most of her life denying the magic her family insists she has inside her.  She makes her living as a reporter for the small town paper and helps her cousin, Cinnamon, with her bar called The Black Opal.  But when the Opal catches on fire and Cinnamon is the prime suspect Stacy starts investigating even using her magic when she can.  She discovers a cover-up and a dead body that was buried in the basement wall of the Opal.  Things start happening to Stacy making it clear she’s getting close to answers that somebody would like to keep quiet.

I was really unsure of this book when I picked it up and kept putting off reading it.  Well I finally decided to crack the spine and loved it from the beginning to the end.  Stacy is a fun, independent, and stubborn main character that you can’t help, but enjoy.  And her sexy chief of police boyfriend, Leo (Yum!!) seems to handle her and her quirky family with ease even though they don’t make it easy!!  Her ex-boyfriend, Chase, is equally dreamy and makes you wonder who she’ll end up with by the end of this series??  There are several other quirky characters throughout the book that highlight what it’s like to live in a small town where everybody knows everything and most of them seem a little off at times which makes the book that much more fun!

“I drank in the scene around me. Some people were directing traffic, some were throwing buckets full of water on the flames (the whole bucket too, not just the contents), some were snapping photos and one guy, I recognized as a regular of the Black Opal, Scully, was clutching a stool and crying.

It was like the bleacher seats at a Cubs game when the beer gets cut off…”

I found this novel to be a quick and fun read and I greatly enjoyed the humor that was sprinkled throughout this book.

“Monique, I realize that it’s a short list of men in this town you haven’t tied up, held down or sent to the free clinic, but why don’t you just leave Leo alone. At least until he can update his vaccinations.”

It reminded me of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series except Stacy isn’t nearly as ditzy as Steph and is a heck of a lot tougher!!

If you’re looking for a fresh new series from a promising new author, look no further then the Stacy Justice Mysteries.  I greatly enjoyed this book and am stoked that book two of the series, Bloodstone, is already out and that books three and four are slated for this year according to Annino’s website.  I can’t wait to read them and see what other trouble Stacy can get into and of course to see if there are any more hunky guys coming her way!!  So what are you waiting for?  Go grab Opal Fire and dive right in, you won’t be sorry that you did!