Official Site of Author Robert S. Levinson



Capsule Profile: ROBERT S. LEVINSON

Robert S. Levinson is the best-selling author of the stand-alone novels "Where the Lies Begin" and "Ask a Dead Man," as well as the Neil Gulliver and Stevie Marriner series of mystery-thriller novels, which to date comprises "The Elvis and Marilyn Affair," "The James Dean Affair, "The John Lennon Affair," and "Hot Paint (The Andy Warhol Affair)."

His latest stand-alone, "In the Key of Death," was published in April 2008.

The ugly underbelly of the record industry is exposed in this behind-the-scenes, below-the-belt account of deceit, treachery, revenge and retribution that pits ex-LAPD detective Josh Wainwright against Clyde ("Mr. Magic") Davenport, the rich, eccentric, legendary relic of the Golden Age of Rock-and-Roll Wainwright blames for the murder of his wife, international singing idol Katie Sunshine, and at least ten other recording artists who quit Davenport after he turned them into superstars.

The body count multiplies as Josh and his partner in International Celebrity Services, Keshawna Keyes, risk their lives tracking suspects on a dangerous, ever-twisting trail that leads to Nashville and an unpredictable turn of events before Josh's search for the answer he prayed for results in an answer he least expected about the death of his beloved Katie.

Levinson was an Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award choice three consecutive years. His short stories, to date,  have been selected for inclusion in "year's best" anthologies four consecutive years, this year as the cover title piece (from Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine) in �A Prisoner of Memory and 24 of the Year�s Finest Crime and Mystery Stories.�

A new short story, "And the Winner is�" is included in the anthology "Hollywood and Crime: Original Crime Stories Set During the History of Hollywood," a September 2007 release.

Earlier Levinson short stories appear in "The Deadly Bride and 21 of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories (Carroll & Graf);" "The Adventure of the Missing Detective and 19 of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories" (Carroll & Graf); the 5th annual "World's Finest Crime & Mystery" anthology (Tor/Forge); and "Flesh & Blood: Guilty as Sin" (Mysterious Press).

In 2007, his short story �Uncle Blinky�s Corner of the World,� which first appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, was short-listed for a �Derringer� award by the Short Mystery Fiction Society.



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 the 2003 and 2004 Annual Edgar Awards gala of the MWA and more recently the inaugural and 2nd Annual Thriller Awards  shows of the International Thriller Writers organization (2006 and 2007).


In addition to MWA, ITW, Sisters-in-Crime and Private Eye Writers of America, Levinson is a member  of  the Writers Guild of  America-west  (past board  of  directors member), Academy of

Television Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Country Music Association (former board member), Public Communicators of Los Angeles (past president and Life Member), and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society.

He is past chairman of the editorial board of the WGAw's monthly magazine, Written By, 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.

Levnson�s first one-act play, �Transcript,� was presented last year as an out-of-competition �special event� at the International Mystery Writers Festival of RiverPark Center in Owensboro, KY, and subsequently developed by RiverPark in radio show format for international distribution.


This year, the IMW festival has nominated his �Murder Times Two� for �Angie� award honors and has scheduled four stage performances during the second annual event, June 12-22. It comprises two one-act plays adapted from short stories earlier acquired by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: �Take My Word for It and You Don�t Have to Answer� and �Between Sins.�




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 Enterprise, 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 made Esquire Magazine's first "Hot 100" rock-and-roll list of music industry headliners and he was the first to be honored by Billboard Magazine as "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, Tanya Tucker, Bread, Kinky Friedman,  Shaun  Cassidy,  David  Cassidy,  David Essex, John  Entwistle, 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, the late 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 Magazine, 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, WestwaysLos Angeles Free Press, Written By Magazine, and Los Angeles 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 Creativity."



For the WGAw, 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 Variety Editor 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 have 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 the late 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."


Levinson's novels have been praised by, among others, Nelson DeMille, Clive Cussler, Joseph Wambaugh, 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, Tom Nolan, 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 best-seller, was succeeded by "Hot Paint," a Gulliver & Marriner thriller built around Andy Warhol that was a Hollywood Inside Syndicate book-of-the-month selection.

 The best-selling "Ask a Dead Man" received a coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly, 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 Reviews for 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 Tribune called it "a book full of enough treachery and paranoia to light up a small city."

The Chicago Tribune singled 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 Sun hailed the novel as "(An) ever-surprising, character-rich thriller," and the Midwest 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."




An in-demand public speaker, Levinson resides with his wife, Sandra, in Los Angeles. He welcomes contact at as well as Post Office Box 292393, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Appearances, other activities, photographs, and special features, are updated frequently at his website,


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  March, 2008


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