I'm not a big fan of *cozy* mysteries. They're not my first choice when looking for something to read. Having said that I will admit Murder She Wrote was a favorite of mine, and OPAL FIRE reminds me of the best part of that series. I do enjoy a well-written story with suspense and danger. OPAL FIRE delivers that just fine.
Things I liked:
I liked the fact that the mystery wasn't easy to figure out and I liked the ratcheting up of the tension of with each new clue. It kept me guessing up right up until about the last quarter of the book. By that point, I had a hunch who dun it, but the author threw in a few diversions by way of red herrings. Skillfully done, too.
I enjoyed the small town setting and the quirky characters (I still think someone should have shared a can of whup ass with Monique). I also liked the family connection. I enjoyed the strong bond between Stacy and her cousin Cinnamon, aka, Cin. The fire at Cin's bar is the start of this mystery.
The Geraghty Girls are a hoot (I have a special fondness for, Lolly, and her WWII stories, lol!). They are Stacy Justice's aunts and the town witches. They have quite a reputation for wild stunts. The Aunts are also convinced that Stacy is destined to be The Seeker of Justice.
Stacy isn't convinced, despite her early signs of *power*. Something happened that shut the door on her beliefs in magic and emerging power. You get the impression she left town to escape that family prophecy. Now she's back, working as a reporter, and the Blessed Book (think Charmed and the huge family spell book) has been passed on to her.
Then there is Thor. He's a Great Dane and the aunts claim he is Stacy's Familiar. Raising Great Danes (I currently have four of those gentle giants) I enjoyed seeing his antics. I would like to have a chat with Stacy about some of the food she lets him eat-cheeseburgers. Really? No wonder Derek (the photographer) says of him,"This dog snores, farts, and burps more than my grandpa."
I really enjoyed this book. Entertaining, good mystery, good characters, well-paced, and good suspense and action, the ending is satisfying as is the new mystery that presents itself to Stacy.
If you like your mysteries with a touch of paranormal, you will really enjoy, OPAL FIRE. I know I'm looking forward to reading book 2 in the series, Bloodstone.
Stacy Justice is just your average green-eyed, redheaded, twenty-something witch who would rather focus on her job as a reporter than practice the crazy magic her grandmother and great-aunts are into. She’s perfectly content to spend her free time hanging with her cop boyfriend and her gassy Great Dane and helping her cousin Cinnamon run the Black Opal bar. But when the Opal goes up in flames, Stacy may need that magic after all.
The blaze was arson—and Cinnamon is the prime suspect. Determined to clear her cousin’s name, Stacy digs deep into the crime and makes a shocking discovery amid the rubble. It’s clear someone wants her dead—and she’ll have to dodge everything from angry motorists to exploding chickens to survive. It’s time to dust off her so-called magic skills. But will they be there when she needs them?
With its strong, sexy heroine and her razor-sharp wit, and its collection of eccentric small-town characters, Opal Fire introduces a bewitching new mystery series.