The Valentine Dine or Die

A Mac and Millie Mystery (Mac and Millie Mysteries Book 2)

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
182 Pages
Reviewed on 02/25/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

In JB Michaels's second book in the Mac and Millie Mysteries, The Valentine Dine or Die, ex-cop Mac O’Malley is enjoying a calmer life by spending his time sipping coffee and working on his memoir at the Tiny Wanderer. He obtained tickets to a special interactive dinner theater event by chance and invites Millie for a romantic but unusual date with a special surprise in mind. Unknown to Mac, Millie has her own news for him about her big job promotion. Unfortunately, none of them has the chance to reveal their intentions as the dinner show turns out to be a real murder scene when one of the guests-a prominent real estate contractor-is found dead with a gunshot wound to his head.

I’m new to the Mac and Millie Mysteries series, but I’m no stranger to JB Michaels’s books as I’m a fan of his Bud Hutchins Supernatural Thrillers. As expected, Michaels’s signature fast plot pace and clear-cut narrative pave the way for a thrilling and intriguing read. The Valentine Dine or Die is a solid standalone for new readers, telling consistent bits of backstory without slowing down the reading tempo. The story is full of interesting characters and tantalizing clues for readers to sink their teeth into for a thrilling whodunit chase. Mac and Millie are easy to root for, they complement each other well and their relationship adds another layer of depth to the plot. With the right amount of humor, danger, and magic, this is an enjoyable cozy mystery.

Rabia Tanveer

The Valentine Dine or Die is the second book in the Mac and Millie Mysteries series by JB Michaels. Mac isn’t having the best of times trying to write his manuscript and getting the work done. He is distracted and he is ready for something else to take his mind off writing his manuscript. So he did something unexpected; he bought two tickets for an interactive dinner theater event to treat himself and Millie. Millie has to make some big decisions in her career soon, but before that, she is ready for an easy night out with Mac and some romance. What was supposed to be their night out turned into a night filled with mystery and murder. The local real estate contractor is dead, and no one knows why, but Millie and Mac are ready to solve this mystery.

Fast-paced and well-written, The Valentine Dine or Die is a short, really entertaining mystery that will have you laughing one second and holding your breath the next. Author JB Michaels has done an incredible job building up the atmosphere, developing the characters and pacing the plot just right. Millie and Mac are two very different yet complementary characters. They balance each other out; they support the story well and allow the reader to become invested in the story from the get-go. I enjoyed the plot, how it built and how everything tied up in the end. The humor is great and the development is incredible.

Deborah Lloyd

Mac had not yet decided what to give his girlfriend, Millie, for Valentine’s Day when he was given a pair of tickets. In The Valentine Dine or Die: Mac and Millie Mysteries Book 2, the couple would spend the holiday at an interactive dinner theater murder mystery production with the same name. However, an actual death occurs and the sleuthing begins. JB Michaels takes the reader on an adventurous whodunit. Due to an on-the-job injury, Mac O’Malley retired as a Chicago police officer. He moved to Geneva, Illinois, where his brother Vince, a detective with the Geneva Police Department, lives. Although Mac has made some progress in writing his memoir, he misses police work, and soon he and Millie become involved with the case. Another fascinating element in their sleuthing is Millie’s “special powers.”

The first case that Mac and Millie solved is referenced a few times; any reader who had not read the first book in this series will want to read it. The plot is certainly intriguing, engaging the reader throughout the story. While there are many characters in the tale, each one is unique, and it is easy to distinguish one from the other. The relationship between Mac and Millie is relatively new, and Mac has a special Valentine’s Day surprise for her. At the same time, she is offered an out-of-state promotion. How this is resolved will certainly be addressed in the next book. Author JB Michaels has interwoven the romantic relationship with a captivating mystery in The Valentine Dine or Die: Mac and Millie Mysteries Book 2. An entertaining read!

Asher Syed

The Valentine Dine or Die: A Mac and Millie Mystery by JB Michaels is the second book in the titular cozy mystery series, preceded by book one, The Christmas Walk Caper. This installment, which reads perfectly well as a stand-alone, returns readers to the Tiny Wanderer where Officer Mac O'Malley is prompted by an employee named Edith to take Millie to the Potter House for an interactive dinner theatre event as opposed to buying a traditional Valentine gift (which he, being Mac, has left to the last possible minute). When the lights eventually go out and another dinner guest winds up slumped over and dead, finding out whodunnit becomes priority number one.

The Valentine Die or Die by JB Michaels is a short and easy read, clean in its storyline and tight in its writing. Alright, there's a swear word or two, but it works with the narrative. This is a very cozy little mystery that has all the twists one hopes for, and a great cast of ancillary characters to entertain throughout. I loved that Mac O'Malley is portrayed as the survivor of a bombing at a marathon in Chicago, slowing down his movement to a speed only slightly quicker than the writing of his memoir. Millie is her own woman and is torn between Mac and her home in Geneva, and a job offer in New York (and her father is a Hawks fan—which I love). She knows she's too good for Mac but loves him anyway, and together they round out a delightful story that is sure to please. For those who get pulled into the series, you'll be happy to know that there is almost no wait for book three, as The Swedish Days Swindle is out in early May.

Risah Salazar

JB Michaels' The Valentine Dine or Die is the second Mac and Millie Mysteries book. Mac is a former cop who is supposed to be moving on and writing a memoir, but the cop life looks like it isn't done with him just yet. Millie is a regular banker, or at least that's what she wants others to believe. She and her family practice witchcraft, and while this is not a secret to Mac, she reserves her witchy side for more important things such as some of Mac's cases. This romantic mystery tale is all about their first Valentine as a couple. But the theatrical show they attend turns into a suicide case. Or is it murder? With Mac's background and Millie's supernatural powers, they once again sleuth together to find the culprit.

The Valentine Dine or Die is a short read that can be finished in one sitting. The story and writing style may be simple, but the book is fast-paced and exciting. It can be read as a standalone, although the first book is a must-read for a few details which JB Michaels does not choose to elaborate on in this one. Mac and Millie make a great team; they are an adorable couple and treat each other as equals. The book cover is just as cute as the story. Just imagine what science and witchcraft can bring when these two are around.