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Cleveland p.i. Milan Jacovich (Pepper Pike) is hired by the manager of the (mob-backed) Lake Shore Hotel to recover the $42,000 he paid for an ad that never ran because the North Coast magazine never existed--except in the bunco schemes of Greg and Nettle Shane. For added muscle, the mob assigns the sartorially despicable Bobby Bustamente as Milan's unwanted partner, and the two soon discover that someone has murdered the (innocently involved) editor and writer, as well as the physically hobbled Nettle, and has blackmailed many of the advertisers into participating--to the amazement of Shane, who knew nothing of new editor Pursglove's activities. (Shane thought the hotel ""ad"" brought in $400, not $42,000.) A quick call to Roberts' other sleuth, Saxon, in California, reveals that Milan's client is really Richie Hips, noted felon, and probably Pursglove's accomplice, now searching for the on-the-run crook. Meanwhile, Shane is weeping all over Milan's couch; Bobby has an advanced case of hero worship for Milan; and Milan's girl Mary is having second thoughts about their relationship when she sees the p.i. after a mob workover. All schemes come to a screeching halt in the Old Arcade building, when Milan and Bobby's tail pays off. Despite a cruel goodbye to Bobby, Milan is comfortable to be around here--smoother than last time, mellower--and his relationship with the mob is interesting. Better than many, then, but not yet top-quality p.i. material.

Pub Date: Nov. 24th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's