The Swedish Days Swindle

A Mac and Millie Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
198 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Swedish Days Swindle, penned by author J. B. Michaels, is a work of fiction in the murder mystery sub-genre, and it is aimed at all ages. A Mac and Millie Mystery series novel, the story takes place during a warm summer in Geneva as the titular protagonists Mac and Millie attempt to enjoy the main event of the summer: Swedish Days. Their date is scuppered by the discovery of a body in the river, the investigation of which leads to evidence of a theft in the planning. As the Swedish Days event reaches the evening, the entire Chamber of Commerce is set to fall victim to an audacious swindle. What results is a highly exciting and intriguing adventure.

Author J. B. Michaels has crafted a mystery novel that is suitable for readers of all sensibilities, yet delivers a convincing and realistic plot line amid its many entertaining scenes and charming prose. The summertime setting of Geneva is superbly atmospheric thanks to the author’s choice of descriptive language, and I particularly admired the use of dialogue as a major exposition tool rather than having reams of unnecessary explanation in the prose itself. This is the mark of an intelligent mystery writer who has crafted an excellently paced story. The central characters Mac and Millie are well-considered and fleshed out as heroes that readers will find endearing to follow through their exploits. Overall, I would definitely recommend The Swedish Days Swindle to mystery readers seeking an immersive story from an accomplished writer.

Jack Magnus

The Swedish Days Swindle: A Mac and Millie Mystery, Book 3 is a paranormal cozy murder mystery written by J.B. Michaels. Just about everybody was involved and busy in their preparations for Geneva, Illinois’s big summer event, Swedish Days. Mac’s attempt to help out with The Tiny Wanderer’s retail display was firmly rejected out of hand by Edith, who reminded Mac, once again, that his job was to finish the book he had been writing, it seemed for a lifetime. While Mac enjoyed the experience of being a writer, reliving his heroism in preventing a bombing during the Chicago Marathon was harder than he had expected. Millie had ultimately decided to return to Geneva much to Mac’s relief, so there was really no excuse why he couldn’t finish that book -- or was there? Things started getting strange when Millie received a sinister call at her office in Salem Bank. Then there was the body Mac and Millie discovered floating in the Fox River. What could be next?

J.B. Michaels’ The Swedish Days Swindle is a fast-paced and entertaining story that places Millie and her family in center stage as they attempt to break a powerful spell which had paralyzed Mac and find themselves facing an adversary whose lack of ethics takes second place to their disregard of human life. I’ve enjoyed each of the Mac and Millie Mysteries and wondered, as I began reading this one, just what blend of magic, mayhem, and murder the author would pull out of his sleeve. I wasn’t disappointed. I appreciated how the author allowed Millie, her friends, and family to shine a bit more fully in the first half of the book and loved how that expansion brought zing and dimension to the story. Michaels’ characters are complex and relatable, and his plot is a lot of fun to follow. Heck, he even manages to have a leprechaun involved in the action -- and it works a treat. The Swedish Days Swindle: A Mac and Millie Mystery, Book 3 is well-written and fun to read. It’s most highly recommended.

Stacie Haas

The Swedish Days Swindle by JB Michaels is a murder mystery novel featuring the dynamic duo of Mac and Millie, a sweet couple with a penchant for finding trouble. Retired cop Mac is trying to write a novel while his love, Millie, is away in another town. If not for some witch magic, the pair would suffer from the difficulties of a long-distance relationship. Even so, the couple is excited about their planned reunion at downtown Geneva's Swedish Days Festival. Just as they sit down to enjoy their date, Mac and Millie discover a body floating in the river. Hours later, Mac is kidnapped and it’s a race against time for Millie to get him safely back, solve a murder, and prevent a supernatural theft. It’s all in a days’ work—or perhaps two—for Mac and Millie. One thing is clear: this year's Swedish Days Festival will never be forgotten.

What a magical book is The Swedish Days Swindle by JB Michaels. There’s a lot to love about a cozy mystery that is fast-paced, fun, and touched by the supernatural. Lovers of mysteries will appreciate how the caper unravels bit by tantalizing bit and how the super-couple of Mac and Millie combine their unique abilities to solve it. It’s a story with many twists and turns—from a bank heist, devastating hex, and even a battle with a leprechaun—all while grounded in a contemporary, sweet romance with deep familial bonds and emotional ties. In addition to the mystery itself, I adored the relationship of Mac and Millie, as well as with Millie and her family. This is a quick, entertaining read with more under the surface than meets the eye. Recommended.

Peggy Jo Wipf

The Swedish Days Swindle by J.B. Michaels is the third novel in his Mac and Millie Mysteries, and hopefully not the last. Mac is a retired cop that still suffers from an injury, but don’t expect that to hold him back when a mystery is at hand. Millie is Mac’s girlfriend who stands on her own merit. She comes from a family of good witches that add their own unique gifts to any problem that needs to be solved. Mac and Millie are reunited after a business separation and they are ready to relax during their local fair, the Swedish Days. Murder and mystery fall right into their laps and pull them in to find out who is behind this. Death or destruction is their only other choice.
 
J.B. Michaels excels in writing supernatural novels; The Swedish Days Swindle is no exception to his talents. The author combines suspense with a touch of witchcraft in the lives of an adorable couple. Both Mac and Millie are well rounded and have strong deductive skills that are used to unravel this web of mystery. The author uses a bit of irony as Millie, the good witch, works at the Salem Bank. Overall, the author skillfully moves the story along at a breathtaking rate as the plot twists into an intriguing finale. It is cozy as the characters look after each other, but unusual kinks in their plans keep the reader engaged. This is a dynamic duo that takes murder seriously but each would do anything to support their partner.

Trisha Dawn

JB Michaels’ The Swedish Days Swindle is a story about the adventures of a pair of lovers from two completely different worlds. Millie, a good witch, has finally returned from New York to her hometown. On her first day back at her old job, she was welcomed with a suspicious call from someone unknown. Whoever it was abruptly ended the call after he confirmed that it was Millie on the other end. Although Millie felt anxious, she just brushed it off and looked forward to her date later with her boyfriend, Mac, a retired cop. However, as the two were enjoying their date, they discovered a dead body floating by the river bank. Not long after, Mac suddenly disappeared from Millie’s side. Could all these be connected to the suspicious person behind the phone call from earlier?

The Swedish Days Swindle by JB Michaels is a short, brilliant, and dynamic story. It was definitely engaging. I was pulled in by the tension when trouble began to follow Millie around. I even felt very nervous for Nick when he went inside Mary’s house and was almost caught by their cat. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I was so relieved when he finally got out of the house with the information that Millie and Mac needed to solve the case. Millie was definitely my favorite character. She was resilient and I loved the fact that nothing could break her determination, no matter what situation she was in. I also loved the teamwork between Mac and Millie; they were definitely an outstanding and well-suited pair. The story was so well-written that I could clearly picture everything that was happening with every page I turned. This book is surely an excellent piece of work. Well done!