Les Roberts writes a series about a Cleveland private investigator, Milan Jacovich, a likable character who is a Vietnam Veteran, an ex-cop and an ex-football player. He is recently recovering from a divorce and is struggling to put his life together again.

In this series, there are 19 books. “Pepper Pike” is the first book in the series and if you haven’t read any of his books yet, this is a great place to start. Pepper Pike” was nominated in 1989 for the prestigious Anthony Award. This entire series is being republished.

In this book, Milan gets a late night call from an ad executive, Richard Amber, in Pepper Pike who asks for a body guard service for 12 hours. However, when Milan gets to the house, no one is there. The next morning, Judith Amber, Richard’s wife calls to hire Milan to find her missing husband. The plot provides many twists and turns.

The setting of all the Milan Jacovitch books is the Cleveland metropolitan area. In this book, we see the upscale suburb of Pepper Pike, visit an exclusive Country Club, and see the Cleveland Playhouse. There is also a troubling visit in Little Italy with the Mafia kingpin, Don Giancarlo. There are meetings with the Governor and Steel executives. There is also a visit to a Slovenian neighborhood. Through his books, he takes us from the wealthy suburbs to the seamy side of the Cleveland area.

Les Roberts offers the reader great descriptive writing. For example when Milan talks about his Aunt Branka’s Slovenian neighborhood and home, one can almost see, feel, touch, taste and smell the environment. While I enjoyed the book immensely, I really appreciated the description of Cleveland. Having lived many years in the Cleveland area, I found that his detail brought each location back to me very clearly.

Les Roberts is the past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer’s League. He is the author of the Saxon Series, several standalone novels as well as anthologies of short stories. Previously he had spent 24 years writing in Hollywood and producing television shows.

Five Stars out of Five.


In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge.  I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.