Les Roberts (mystery novel writer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Les Roberts (born Lester Roubert, July 18, 1937) to Lester Nathaniel and Eleanor (Bauch) Roubert in Chicago, Illinois; he changed his name to Roberts in 1968.


Roberts attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Roosevelt University (1954–1956), served in the U.S. Army (1960–1962), and married Gail Medland in 1957; they divorced in 1980. Roberts has two children, Valerie Lynne and Darren Jon, one grandchild, Shea Holland Thompson. He currently lives in Stow, Ohio.

Social views[edit]

Roberts became a vegan c. 2012 after watching 'Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home' stating:

Humane slaughter is a bit of misnomer. Chicken, cows, pigs. They are all intelligent, sentient, emotional creatures and we treat them like we would an old pair of shoes. How could we ever eat animals again after that? [1]

Writing career[edit]

Roberts began his career as a contemporary American mystery novelist after twenty-four years in Hollywood, having written and/or produced more than 2,500 half-hour segments of network and syndicated television.[2][3] He was the first producer and head writer of The Hollywood Squares, and has written for The Lucy Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Jackie Gleason Show and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., among others.[4]

Roberts is primarily seen as a regional writer. Though his Saxon series is set in Los Angeles, he is best known for his Milan Jacovich series set in his adopted hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Jacovich, unlike many single, dashing private eyes of fiction, is a battered, Stroh's-drinking, polka-dancing Slovenian American Vietnam veteran, ex-cop, and former Kent State football star, with a Serbian strong-willed ex-wife and two sons that he sees every other Sunday. Jacovich's working-guy attitude has endeared him to many Cleveland readers.

He is past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the regular mystery book critic for The Plain Dealer. He has been a professional actor, singer, businessman, teacher and jazz musician.


The Saxon series[edit]

The Milan Jacovich series[edit]



In 1986 he won the inaugural "Best First Private Eye Novel Contest" for An Infinite Number of Monkeys in 1986.[5] This novel was also nominated for the 1988 Anthony Award for "Best First Novel" and the Shamus Award the same year in the same category.[6][7] The following year, the initial novel in the Milan Jacovich series was nominated for the 1989 Anthony Award in the "Best Novel" category.[6] Next, Roberts also won the 1992 Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature and has been voted "Cleveland's Favorite Author" by Cleveland.com.[2][3][8] The novel The Lake Effect was nominated for the 1995 Shamus Award in the "Best Private Eye Novel" category.[7]


  1. ^ "No mystery to favorite vegan spots of author Les Roberts: Five for Friday". Retrieved 9 February 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Schmitt, Angie (September 26, 2007). "Author to visit Youngstown". The Vindicator. p. B1. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Author to visit Youngstown". Vindy.com. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Les Roberts". IMDb. Retrieved 9 February 2018. 
  5. ^ "Omni Mystery Book Awards". Awards.omnimystery.com. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  6. ^ a b "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. 2003-10-02. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  7. ^ a b "The Private Eye Writers of America and The Shamus Awards". Thrillingdetective.com. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  8. ^ "Cleveland Arts Prize Archive". Clevelandartsprize.org. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 

External links[edit]