In 1988, when Les Roberts introduced Milan Jacovich, a blue-collar Slovenian private eye in Cleveland, I thought of him as the working man's Spenser. Roberts wrote thirteen books about Jacovich, and then there was a gap of six years between books. It was just within the last couple months that he brought Milan back in the book, King of the Holly Hop. It was way too many years since Milan's last case, and I'm afraid many readers may have forgotten Les Roberts and this series. These detective stories are too good to be forgotten.
Over the course of the series, Milan worked cases in Cleveland and many of its suburbs - Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Olmsted Falls. He returned to his alma mater, Kent State. And, he remained loyal to his friends such as Marko Meglich, who became a police lieutenant, and even two members of the Cleveland Mafia, Victor Gaimari and his uncle, Giancarlo D'Allessandro. Those friendships are just as important in the latest book as they were in the first one. However, Milan Jacovich is a character who actually ages in the course of the series. Readers watch his sons grow up, his friends change, and he never settles down with another woman after his divorce. Roberts once said that Susan Silverman was so unpopular with many of Robert B. Parker's readers that he didn't give Milan a steady girlfriend.
Over the course of this series, Milan Jacovich grows wiser, and older. Readers should start with Pepper Pike, the first book that introduced Milan. King of the Holly Hop, the latest book, marks a turning point in Jacovich's life and career. Les Roberts isn't going to let us forget Milan Jacovich, Cleveland's private detective.
Les Roberts' website is www.lesroberts.com
And, for other Friday "Forgotten" Books, check out Patti Abbott's website at www.pattinase.blogspot.com, where she summarizes all the suggestions for Friday.