The Mitch Roberts series was a successful retro-noir group of 10 novels published between 1984 and 2005. The first six novels were paperback originals from Avon and Fawcett, while the remaining four were hardback publications from St. Martin’s Press. Each novel featured Mitch Roberts, a classic private detective with a small office in Wichita, Kansas. The original paperbacks were set in the mid 1950s. Snake Eyes was awarded the “Best Original Paperback” citation from the Mystery Writers of America. The hardback originals received many distinguished reviews in trade journals and newspapers. Roberts is a character influenced by the work of Raymond Chandler, though the series is written in a much less hard-boiled style. Later books in the series came to represent breakthroughs in style, curving more and more away from traditional hard-boiled writing with its garish metaphors and snappy dialogue, and tending towards intense character studies, moral questions, and deepened psychology. Many of the reviews in the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly commented that the series was unique in its literary qualities. Some compared the work to that of Graham Greene, especially the later novels which tended to be more contemporary and to take place in exotic locales like the Congo, London, Amsterdam, and Jamaica, as well as Haiti.
Readers of the Mitch Roberts series came to expect an intelligent Roberts to represent the pursuit of justice just as in classic private detective fiction. Memorable characters were a hallmark of the series.
Mitch Roberts is one of the more likeable heroes who have taken up the gun and the plastic badge in recent years
Mitch Roberts is a complex and believable character, one readers will want to know better and so will follow from book to book
Mitch Roberts is a breath of fresh air, and a welcome change from the mordantly cynical private eyes we’ve come to expect as the norm in crime fiction