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You Kill Me 

For his latest thriller, Les Roberts relishes the thought of knocking off a classmate at his high-school reunion.

Cleveland Heights author Les Roberts doesn't get mad at his nemeses; he gets even — by killing them in his string of 14 whodunits, featuring veteran Cleveland cop-turned-private-eye Milan Jacovich. Take his latest spine-chiller, King of the Holly Hop, in which a doctor is murdered at his 40th high-school reunion. The physician is a mirror image of an "obnoxious, chunky guy" with whom Roberts went to school in his native Chicago. "He went out of his way to be nasty to everybody," he says. "The neat thing about being a mystery writer is that you can get even with anyone you're mad at, by either making them this horrible person or killing them."A former Hollywood screenwriter, Roberts moved to Cleveland in 1987 to create the Cash Explosion TV show for the Ohio Lottery Commission. He took six years to drop his latest installment for fans of the Jacovich series, thinking he "had put Milan to sleep for good" after releasing The Irish Sports Pages in 2002. "For 20 years, he was my best friend. I lived with him every day, and it was a kick to write this book," says Roberts. "I will continue to do Milan books until they carry me out of here." The book-signing starts at 7 tonight at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 198 Crocker Park Boulevard in Westlake. Admission is free. Call 440-250-9233 or visit www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
Fri., July 11, 7 p.m., 2008

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