Robert S. Levinson is the bestselling author of the stand-alone
novels “The Evil Deeds We Do,” "Finders, Keepers, Losers, Weepers,"
"Phony Tinsel," "A Rhumba in Waltz Time," "The Traitor in Us All,"
"In the Key of Death," "Where the Lies Begin" and "Ask a Dead Man,"
as well as the Neil Gulliver and Stevie Marriner series of
mystery-thrillers, which to date comprises "The Elvis and Marilyn
Affair," "The James Dean Affair, "The John Lennon Affair," "The Andy
Warhol Affair (Hot Paint)," and now “The Stardom Affair.”
He won the Short Mystery Fiction Society's Best Short Story
Derringer Award for "The Quick Brown Fox," a short that originally
appeared in Alfred
Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
The short is also featured in the anthology, "Between the Dark and
the Daylight and 28 More of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery
Stories. An original short, "Down in Capistrano," appears in "Orange
County Noir," and another, "The Night of the Murder," in the
anthology "Crime Square." Another original, "The Dead Detective,"
appears in "The Sound and the Furry: Stories to benefit the
International Fund for Animal Welfare," as well as the “Coast to
Coast” short story collection.
Levinson, a Shamus award nominee, was an Ellery
Queen Mystery Magazine Readers
Award winner three consecutive years. To date, his short stories
have been selected for inclusion in "year's best" anthologies eight
consecutive years, including the cover title piece (from Alfred
Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
in "A Prisoner of Memory and 24 of the Year’s Finest Crime and
Another original short, "And the Winner is…" is included in
"Hollywood and Crime: Original Crime Stories Set During the History
of Hollywood." Earlier Levinson short stories appear in "The Deadly
Bride and 21 of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories; "The
Adventure of the Missing Detective and 19 of the Year's Finest Crime
and Mystery Stories;" the 5th annual "World's Finest Crime &
Mystery" anthology; and "Flesh & Blood: Guilty as Sin."
Many of his novels and short stories are now available at Amazon
Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Smashwords and other eBook sites. The
list includes a number of new short stories as well as an eBook
original novel, "The Ending We Deserve."
Plays by Levinson were featured at the inaugural and second annual
International Mystery Writers Festival of RiverPark Center in
Owensboro, KY. The first, "Transcript," was presented
out-of-competition and subsequently developed by RiverPark in radio
show format for international distribution. "Murder Times Two" was
nominated for "Angie" award honors and published in the On Stage
Press/Samuel French anthology, "Scripts."
Levinson served four years on the Mystery Writers of America
national board of directors, as well as two years as president of
MWA's Southern California chapter. He wrote and produced two Annual
Edgar Awards galas of the MWA and the inaugural and 2nd Annual
Thriller Awards shows of the International Thriller Writers
In addition to MWA, ITW, Sisters-in-Crime, Private Eye Writers of
America and the International Association of Crime Writers, Levinson
is a member of the Writers Guild of America-West (past board of
directors member) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
He is past chairperson f the editorial board of the WGAw's monthly
and served six terms as president of the Hollywood Press Club, which
years later voted "The Elvis and Marilyn Affair" Best Novel About
Hollywood in its annual HPC Awards of Distinction.
With publication of his first novel, "The Elvis and Marilyn Affair,"
Levinson embarked upon a fifth career, following decades of success
as a newspaperman, a public relations executive, and a
writer-producer of more than three dozen television specials
He was a newspaperman (Riverside, CA, Press
Los Angeles Times)
before entering the field of public relations, where he represented
a diverse roster of major corporate, industrial and financial
accounts, among them the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, Mattel Toys, 21 Brands, Waste King Corporation, Filon
Corporation, and General Brewing Corporation.
His company, Levinson Associates, created and pioneered "independent
PR support services" in the music industry and at one time was the
largest rock-contemporary music PR firm in the world. The company
first "Hot 100" rock-and-roll list of music industry headliners and
he was the first to be honored by Billboard
"Publicist of the Year," for his innovative international campaigns.
Any catalog of Levinson Associates clients--comprising more than 700
major star names--would include Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood
Mac, The Who, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad, Blood, Sweat &
Tears, Jimmy Buffett, The Osmonds, Olivia Newton-John, Ike & Tina
Turner, Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Glen Campbell, Tanya
Tucker, Bread, Kinky Friedman, Shaun Cassidy, David Cassidy, David
Essex, John Entwistle, Sparks, and Tom Petty, as well as the
National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Arnold Kopelson
Productions, Dick Clark Productions, Mike Curb Enterprises, the
Actors Studio, Lee Strasberg, Richard Harris, Suzanne Somers, Marcel
Marceau, Roger Clinton; Motown Records, Capitol Records, MCA
Records, RSO Records, Island Records, Jobete Music, Broadcast Music,
Inc. (BMI), the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas; the Tropicana Hotel, Las
Vegas; and, the Friars Club.
Later, he formed Levinson Entertainment Ventures, Inc., developing,
writing and producing some 40 comedy, musical, variety and awards
specials for the world marketplace, among them the Annual Soap Opera
Awards, the first and second annual Beach Music specials, and shows
starring major artists such as Glen Campbell, David Soul, Jerry Lee
Lewis, Marvin Gaye, Blood, Sweat & Tears, WAR, America, Anne Murray,
Charlie Rich, Charley Pride, the Jacksons, and others. Two Suzanne
Somers one-hour variety specials for CBS Television were created and
developed by Levinson, supervising production for Hamel-Somers
Entertainment. "Here Comes Didi!" was a series of half hour comedies
produced in Hollywood and West Germany and starring one of Europe's
major entertainers, Dieter (Didi) Hallervorden.
Levinson's freelance writing over the years included four years as
art columnist and critic for Coast
where he wrote the first major consumer cover story dealing with
Andy Warhol, a feature that anticipated Warhol's significant role in
art history. He wrote for publications such as the
Los Angeles Times West Magazine, Rolling Stone, Westways, Los
Angeles Free Press, Written By Magazine,
References to him appear in more than a dozen books about the art
world, the music business, and show business in general, among them:
"Legal Aspects of the Music Industry;" "Praise, Vilification &
Sexual Innuendo or, How to Be a Critic/The Selected Writings of John
L. Wasserman;" "Liberty Records. A History of the Recording Company
and its Stars, 1955-1971;" "One is the Loneliest Number/On the Road
and Behind the Scenes with the Legendary Rock Band Three Dog Night;"
"The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul;" "Oscar Dearest: The
Unofficial History of the Academy Awards;" "Ken Tyler-Master Printer
and the American Print Renaissance;" "Gemini G.E.L./Art and
Collaboration;" "Teen Idols;" "Robert Rauschenberg;" "Technics and
For the Writers Guild of America West, Levinson created a School
Literacy Program that brought writers into classrooms on an ongoing
basis, to inspire youngsters to read and write and give them a sense
of the real world outside the schoolyard.
For the Hollywood Press Club, he has developed and produced a series
of special events that include a Life Achievement Gala for Milton
Berle, an evening honoring retired Daily
Tom Pryor, stage plays dealing with historical Hollywood figures
such as Orson Welles and Harry Cohn, legendary founder of Columbia
Pictures, and a Lifetime Achievement gala for Broadway composer
Jerry Herman ("Mame," "Hello, Dolly!").
Other fund-raising event involvements included Friars dinners
honoring Burt Reynolds, Roseanne and Charlton Heston; a Bette Midler
opening night concert for the Colette Chuda Fund; SHARE's Annual
Boomtown Show; benefit performances of "Love Letters" for Tuesday's
Child; a luncheon hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis, Sissy Spacek and
Edward James Olmos to benefit the AIDS Orphan Adoption Project of
the NCFA (National Council for Adoption); and, a Gateways Hospital
Humanitarian Award dinner honoring philanthropist Sybil Brand.
Levinson has been honored in the past, by the California State
Senate, whose resolution recognized his "outstanding record of
dedicated and highly-effective performance to the entertainment
through the force of public relations, as well as to the growth and
economic good of the State of California." The Los Angeles City
Council recognized Levinson for creating and implementing an
anti-drugs program designed to show young people that "the road to
real success is easier to achieve in a drug-free community, and
honored him again in 2013 for his years of cultural contributions."
The Governor of Kentucky in 2008 commissioned him a "Kentucky
Colonel," in recognition of his cultural contributions to the state.
Levinson's novels have been praised by, among others, Nelson
DeMille, Clive Cussler, Joseph Wambaugh, Jeffery Deaver, William
Link, Margaret Maron, Joe R. Lansdale, John Lescroart, David
Morrell, T. Jefferson Parker, James Rollins, Heather Graham, F. Paul
Wilson, Michael Palmer, Dick Lochte, Gayle Lynds, Peter Lefcourt,
Digby Diehl, Jon L. Breen, Christopher Reich, Tom Nolan, Joseph
Finder, Thomas Perry, William Kent Krueger, Ed Gorman, Wendy
Hornsby, Paul Levine, Doug Allyn, Bill Crider, Robert J. Randisi,
and Ernest Lehman.
"The Elvis and Marilyn Affair" earned him the first in a series of
rave trade and consumer reviews. "The James Dean Affair" opened at
the *1 spot on the Los
Angeles Times bestseller
list and also was the book-of-the-month choice of the MSNBC Book
Club. "The John Lennon Affair," another Los
Angeles Times best-seller,
was succeeded by "Hot Paint," a Gulliver & Marriner thriller built
around Andy Warhol that was a Hollywood Inside Syndicate
"Ask a Dead Man" received a coveted starred review from Publishers
which observed: "A novel that not only stands alone but stands tall.
Writing with considerable invention, grace and energy, (Levinson)
tells an intricate and emotionally potent tale of murder and
double-cross…This is a dense, dark, beautifully wrought tale of love
and betrayal, sin and retribution, offering serious suspense,
terrific twists and full-blooded characters. Levinson may not have
an Irish name but he carries the soul of the Irish poets in his pen
and in his heart…only a dead man wouldn't relish this read."
"Ask a Dead Man" also was hailed by Kirkus
its "guilty pleasures," and Booklist raved,
"Genuinely exciting…It sinks its narrative claws into our skin and
drags us along on what proves to be an exhilarating ride…" The Chicago
called it "a book full of enough treachery and paranoia to light up
a small city."
out "Where the Lies Begin" as "(Levinson's) latest tough and funny
new book (with) a gang of Federal double dealers who make the
Hollywood Press corps look like a church choir," while the Baltimore
the novel as "(An) ever-surprising, character-rich thriller," and
Book Review described
it as "A complex and exciting espionage thriller…fun to read as the
audience tries to determine who's on whose side."
Kirkus Reviews observed
that the LA
"In the Key of Death" was "stuffed with action, violence, sex,
music-business savvy and plot." Crimespree
it "…an ass-kicker that unravels the music industry…Fast-paced,
funny and dark, this is a whirlwind in a bottle and turning that
first page is going to let it loose."
"The Traitor in Us All" won a solid round of positive reviews from
publications such as Booklist,
Genre-Go-Round, and Pop
as well as kudos from authors such as Jeffery Deaver, who commented,
"Absolutely top-notch … A delicious blend of the best in thriller
writing. No surprise here. Levinson has been stirring up delicious
blends for many years."
Publishers Weekly rewarded
"A Rhumba in Waltz Time" one of its coveted starred reviews, while The
Thrilling Detective cited
it as "a superb Depression Era Hollywood Noir." Acclaimed crime
novelist Joseph Wambaugh called it "a nostalgic, wisecracking,
action-packed romp filled with an insider’s knowledge of show
business and the movie star gossip mill."
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s
Jury Box review called "Phony Tinsel" "a twisted tale of love, sex,
and egos…," while multiple award-winning author Ed Gorman said it
was "one of the freshest, liveliest and page-turningest takes on Old
Hollywood ever written." Mystery Writers of America Grand Master
Margaret Maron heralded the novel as "a delightfully improbable romp
through 1938 Hollywood with all the usual Levinson wit and humor."
Levinson"s "Finders, Keepers, Losers, Weepers," according to Publishers
glowing review: "…builds to an explosive, yet emotionally
satisfying, conclusion. Author Thomas Perry said Levinson "is a pro
who knows a hundred ways to tell a story, and in this book he has a
wild and moving story to tell." Author William Kent Krueger raved,
"This is a wise, profane, thrilling and thoroughly entertaining tale
of unimaginable loss and extraordinary redemption…not only a savvy
look inside the music industry, but also an insightful glimpse into
the human heart."
First reviews for "The Evil Deeds We Do" included these reports:
"The writing is crisp and hard-boiled, reminiscent of the golden age
of Chandler and Hammett but with a modern twist. Levinson’s first
career was in the music business, lending much credence to the
story. Elmore Leonard and Lawrence Block fans will find plenty to
like in Levinson’s latest."—
"A relentless prosecutor, a power-loving political aide and a
desperate record producer form a dangerous triangle…Levinson’s
narration alternates between suspenseful buildups and elaborate back
stories in a ruthless world in which no one is to be trusted, the
author least of all."—KIRKUS REVIEWS
"A Hollywood neo-noir packed with surprise, suspense and plenty of
sex and violence … a cast of unforgettable characters."—Ed Gorman
"A sumptuous tale of revenge, skullduggery, and self-preservation
set in a wonderfully rendered Los Angeles."—Wendy Hornsby
"Levinson knows music and murder and skillfully combines both in his
savvy mystery."—Paul Levine
"A rollicking tale that rips the glitter off the music biz… makes
"…a wild ride through L.A.’s high rollers and low lifes. A fast and
fun read,."—DP Lyle
Early comments about “The Stardom Affair” included these by
award-winning, best-selling authors:
“The author has delivered a fast-paced, surprisingly dark,
not-surprisingly witty thriller that includes a scene of movieland
sex and violence more nightmarish than anything devised by Nathanael
West or David Lynch”—Dick Lochte
“When one of Hollywood's hottest young stars finds himself in a
tangle with two dead bodies and almost dead of a drug overdose
himself, Neil Gulliver's reporter's instincts are aroused, and he's
plunged into an ever darker world of sex, drugs, and murder. The
patter is snappy, the writing is sharp, and the observations are
pointed as a dagger in another winner from Levinson.”—Bill Crider
“From big box office powerbrokers to L.A.'s seething underworld of
designer drugs and porn movies, you're in for the roller-coaster
ride of your reading life. But then, it's no surprise –Robert S.
Levinson is a master of style and suspense. Buy this book and
enjoy!” -- Gayle Lynds
“Robert S. Levinson handles the hardboiled style of storytelling
with soft, sure hands. Neil Gulliver continues to be one of the most
reliable main characters in the genre. And, along with his ex-wife,
Stevie Marriner, they continue to channel Nick & Nora Charles.
The Stardom Affair
is time well spent.”—Robert J. Randisi “
An in-demand public speaker, Levinson resides with his wife, Sandra,
and their rescue pooch, Rosie, in Los Angeles. He welcomes contact
at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as Post Office Box
292393, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Appearances, other activities,
photographs, and special features, are updated frequently at
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