Mystery Solved

Crime novelist Les Roberts reveals his grand motive.

Cleveland theater
Les Roberts says it was love at first sight. When the Chicago native moved from Hollywood (where he produced Hollywood Squares and wrote for The Andy Griffith Show, among other gigs) to Cleveland nearly 20 years ago, he was smitten. He came here to oversee the startup of an Ohio Lottery TV show, but soon he was writing a series of Cleveland-based mystery novels centered on private eye Milan Jacovich. "From the moment I got off the plane, there was something about this city that really touched me," says Roberts. "It's a city different from almost every other city I've ever been in."

Roberts has just published the memoir We'll Always Have Cleveland, a mash note to his adopted hometown. In it, he talks about his 13 Jacovich mysteries, his 24 years in Hollywood, and finding his inspiration in C-Town. "I didn't like Los Angeles very much," he says. "Everybody lies to you. Nobody's lied to me in Cleveland so far."
Fri., May 5, 2 p.m.; Mon., May 8, 7 p.m.

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