Les Roberts

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Les Roberts

Goodreads Author

Chicago, IL, The United States



Member Since
July 2011


Les Roberts is the author of 15 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich, as well as 9 other books of fiction. The past president of both the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer's League, he came to mystery writing after a 24-year career in Hollywood. He was the first producer and head writer of the Hollywood Squares and wrote for the Andy Griffith Show, the Jackie Gleason Show, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E., among others. He has been a professional actor, a singer, a jazz musician, and a teacher. In 2003 he received the Sherwood Anderson Literary Award. A native of Chicago, he now lives in Northeast Ohio and is a film and literary critic."

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Popular Answered Questions

Les Roberts Hi, Ju - congrats on writing a book set in Cleveland. I don't know whether your leading female character is a police officer, private investigator, or…moreHi, Ju - congrats on writing a book set in Cleveland. I don't know whether your leading female character is a police officer, private investigator, or something else----therefore there are different places and people to ask. If your father and uncle were cops, you must know someone of the police force to give you information. I'm friends with several Cleveland-area cops, both active or retired, and when I need information, it's only a phone call away. If you know no one, you should probably attend one of the many law enforcement meetings around town, introduce yourself. You can even come with me to the monthly meetings of the Greater Police Emerald Society. You'd be amazed how many badge-wearers are delighted to supply you with information. As far as the Cleveland atmosphere, which is entirely different from anyplace else I've ever been---just get out there. Meet people, drop in and have a drink at a relatively safe-looking tavern,and call ANYONE you care to for answers to your questions. I have cops, lawyers, coroners, doctors, artists, media people, real private eyes and, yes, even the---uh---"guys on Murray Hill" I can call whenever I need to. Always remember, though, that in fiction, ANYTHING is true if you, the author, says it is. If you look up in a book the accurate description of what a fiction writer does, it says, "Makes Stuff Up."

As for how I started writing about Greater Cleveland---back in 1987 I was living in Los Angeles, having worked for years as a film/TV writer and having written my first novel (NOT a Milan Jacovich), and was invited to spend several months in Cleveland creating and getting on its feet a TV game show for the Ohio Lottery. (That game was and IS "Cash Explosion," and it's still on the air after 29 years! No, I don't get paid royalties anymore.) Within two weeks of my being here, I'd completely fallen in love with Greater Cleveland, and when I returned to L.A. i began writing my first Milan novel, "Pepper Pike." (Currently eighteen published Milan novels now, and 30 books altogether.) I kept coming back to do research, to promote my novels, and after three years of that, I chose to move here. Last month I celebrated my 25th anniversary as a Greater Clevelander.

Contact me anytime, via Goodreads, Facebook, email, or even by telephone. (Just don't call before 3 in the afternoon, as mornings and early afternoons are writing time for me.) Most info is on my website, www.lesroberts.

Good luck, Les(less)
Average rating: 3.75 · 3,396 ratings · 395 reviews · 54 distinct works · Similar authors
Pepper Pike (Milan Jacovich...

3.81 avg rating — 301 ratings — published 1988 — 5 editions
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Full Cleveland (Milan Jacov...

3.85 avg rating — 216 ratings — published 1989 — 8 editions
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Deep Shaker (Milan Jacovich...

3.89 avg rating — 176 ratings — published 1991 — 4 editions
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The Cleveland Connection (M...

3.94 avg rating — 164 ratings — published 1993 — 4 editions
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The Cleveland Creep (Milan ...

3.67 avg rating — 169 ratings — published 2012 — 4 editions
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Collision Bend (Milan Jacov...

3.85 avg rating — 148 ratings — published 1996 — 5 editions
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The Lake Effect (Milan Jaco...

3.85 avg rating — 146 ratings — published 1994 — 4 editions
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A Shoot in Cleveland (Milan...

3.79 avg rating — 145 ratings — published 1998 — 4 editions
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The Cleveland Local (Milan ...

3.84 avg rating — 138 ratings — published 1997 — 5 editions
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King of the Holly Hop (Mila...

3.64 avg rating — 143 ratings — published 2008 — 3 editions
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More books by Les Roberts…
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These 18 novels by award-winning writer L...

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Pepper Pike Full Cleveland Deep Shaker The Cleveland Connection The Lake Effect The Duke Of Cleveland Collision Bend
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Book Excerpt: Whiskey Island (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated Jul 24, 2012 06:18AM
Description: Book excerpt from Whiskey Island (Milan Jacovich #16) by Les Roberts
Book Excerpt (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated Sep 21, 2011 09:05AM
Description: "The Cleveland Creep" is #15 in my series featuring fictional Slovenian American private investigator Milan Jacovich (pronounced MY-lan YOCK-ovich), a former Kent State University football player and ex-cop with a taste for klobasa sandwiches and Stroh's beer and a knack for finding trouble on the streets of Cleveland. In the new novel, a simple missing-person case gets complicated when a collection of voyeuristic videos leads Milan to an organized crime connection--and a dead body.

Les's Recent Updates

Les Roberts is now friends with Linda Swift
The Indian Sign by Les Roberts
The Indian Sign by Les Roberts
The Indian Sign by Les Roberts
questions answered: 2
correct: 2 (100.0%)
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best streak: 2
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China Trade by S.J. Rozan
" I had a delightful lunch with her that Sunday when she was leaving the meeting. I wish she could have stayed longer and enjoyed Cleveland more. "
I Am Spartacus! by Kirk Douglas
" He is one of the most forthright, truthful, take-no-crap Americans. Some of his film performances touch the sky—that's how great and how intense they ...more "
I Am Spartacus! by Kirk Douglas
" Kirk Douglas is one of the greatest human beings who ever stepped before a camera. "
Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane
" Chad - Glad you've discovered how GREAT Dennis Lehane is. "
A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane
" This is far and away the BEST Private Eye Novel debut since "The Big Sleep." What's even more scary is that Dennis Lehane just got better with every s ...more "
More of Les's books…

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Mystery/Thriller ...: Bouchercon 2012, Day One (Thursday) 16 18 Oct 08, 2012 08:37PM  
Cozy Mysteries : This topic has been closed to new comments. Title and Author Game - Archived 12154 1347 Jul 15, 2013 11:58AM  
Norman Mailer
“Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.”
Norman Mailer

Lynne Truss
“The rule is: the word 'it's' (with apostrophe) stands for 'it is' or 'it has'. If the word does not stand for 'it is' or 'it has' then what you require is 'its'. This is extremely easy to grasp. Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation. No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, 'Good food at it's best', you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Lynne Truss
“Thurber was asked by a correspondent: "Why did you have a comma in the sentence, 'After dinner, the men went into the living-room'?" And his answer was probably one of the loveliest things ever said about punctuation. "This particular comma," Thurber explained, "was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Lynne Truss
“The reason it's worth standing up for punctuation is not that it's an arbitrary system of notation known only to an over-sensitive elite who have attacks of the vapours when they see it misapplied. The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Lynne Truss
“What the semicolon's anxious supporters fret about is the tendency of contemporary writers to use a dash instead of a semicolon and thus precipitate the end of the world. Are they being alarmist?”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

19126 The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group — 14078 members — last activity 3 minutes ago
Jul 2016/ Aug 2016 Group Reads - The Killing by David Hewson and Nemesis by Agatha Christie _ _ _ _ _ “It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning flash ...more

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