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Novels by Robert S. Levinson

 

THE STARDOM AFFAIR


 

“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, award-winning author of Sleeping Dog

“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, award-winning author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries

“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, New York Times best-selling author of The Assassins

“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. Reading The Stardom Affair is time well spent.”—Robert J. Randisi, best-selling author of the Rat Pack mysteries, co-founder of Mystery Scene Magazine

EVIL DEEDS WE DO

“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.”—Stacy Alesi, BOOK LIST

“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

"I guarantee this will be Robert S. Levinson's most popular novel, a Hollywood neo-noir packed with surprise, suspense and plenty of sex and violence. In the course of this page-turning look at La La Land at its worst, Levinson also manages to introduce us to a cast of unforgettable characters."—Ed Gorman, MWA Ellery Queen, Shamus, Spur, SMFS Golden Derringer, and Int’l Fiction Writers award-winning author of The Sam McCain Series and The Midnight Run

“Sly, complex, and full of surprises, The Evil Deeds We Do, by Robert S. Levinson, is a sumptuous tale of revenge, skullduggery, and self-preservation set in a wonderfully rendered Los Angeles. Yummy.”—Wendy Hornsby, MWA Edgar award-winning author of The Color of Light and other Maggie MacGowen mysteries

“Robert S. Levinson knows music and murder and skillfully combines both in his savvy mystery, The Evil Deeds We Do.”—Paul Levine, John D. MacDonald fiction award-winning author of State vs. Lassiter and The Solomn vs. Lord series

“Robert S. Levinson's The Evil Deeds We Do is a rollicking tale that rips the glitter off the music biz. Levinson's insider experience shows in every line and his funky, hard-case heroine is the ultimate survivor in a rock'n'roll arena that makes the Hunger Games look tame.”—Doug Allyn, MWA Edgar, Derringer and EQMM Readers award-winning author of The Burning of Rachel Hayes

"The Evil Deeds We Do is a wild ride through LA's high rollers and low lifes. A fast and fun read."—
DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Samantha Cody and Dub Walker thriller series
 

Finders, Keepers Losers, Weepers

 

"This is a wise, profane, thrilling, and thoroughly entertaining tale of unimaginable loss and extraordinary redemption. Twist after unpredictable twist, Levinson delivers a story that’s not only a savvy look inside the music industry, but also an insightful glimpse into the human heart. Believe me, you’re going to love this book."—WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER, New York Times bestselling author of Tamarack County, Trickster’s Point, Northwest Angle, Vermilion Drift

“…the fast-paced narrative builds to an explosive, yet emotionally satisfying, conclusion.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"The author is a greatly talented writer..."—Booklist

“Robert S. 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.”—THOMAS PERRY, Edgar Award-winning New York Times bestselling author of The Butcher’s Boy, Metzger’s Dog, The Boyfriend, Poison Flower
 

Phony Tinsel

 “A delightfully improbable romp through 1938 Hollywood with all the usual Levinson wit and humor.”
—MARGARET MARON, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master

  “One of the freshest, liveliest and page-turningest takes on Old Hollywood ever written.  Buy a copy for yourself and then rack up a few more for gifts.”
—ED GORMAN, Shamus, Anthony and Spur award-winning author  

“The author takes a lighter tone, peppering the tale with humor and wordplay...Fans of  Hollywood’s Golden will have lots of fun with the real-life movie references.”
—BOOKLIST

 “A tale filled with as much ambition, greed and treachery as a Joan Crawford double-feature.”
—JOSEPH FINDER, New York Times bestselling author

“Boffo!...a wry, fast-paced, often hilarious tale of love, ambition and making movies in Hollywood’s Golden Age...Truly a delight!”
—THE CHRISTOPHER REICH, New York Times b
estselling author

Robert S. Levinson’s Phony Tinsel, set in 1930s Hollywood, is a twisted tale of love, sex, and egos featuring a screenwriter named Charlie Dickens and the women who sink their claws into him.”
—THE JURY BOX, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

 

 

A RHUMBA IN WALTZ TIME


“More fun than peeking through keyholes in the Golden Age of Hollywood before World War II...a nostalgic, wisecracking, action-packed romp filled with an insider’s knowledge of show business and the movie star gossip mill."
--JOSEPH WAMBAUGH, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master
*
“Levinson has done it again—concocted a lethal crime cocktail that mixes Hollywood fact and fiction with a master storyteller’s magic wand.”
—WILLIAM LINK, five-time Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award winner
*
I have just read a book that I enjoyed so very much I am singing its praises 4 months before pub date. Bob Levinson’s A RHUMBA IN WALTZ TIME is a book to look for.
—RUTH JORDAN. editor-in-chief, Crimespree Magazine
*
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STARRED REVIEW

Depression-era Hollywood forms the backdrop for this sharp-edged noir from Levinson (The Traitor in Us All). In 1933, Chris Blanchard's career as an LAPD detective comes to an abrupt end after he refuses to look the other way when his colleagues victimize a prostitute. Five years later, Blanchard undertakes "special problems" for the MGM studio. One such problem involves actress Marie MacDaniels, who comes to his apartment drunk late one night, distraught over having shot her actor husband, Day Covington, and hands over the murder weapon. When Blanchard visits the scene of the crime, he quickly finds evidence clearing MacDaniels and sends her into hiding while he looks into the matter. That crime proves to be but the tip of a very violent iceberg. Photographer to the stars Otto Rothman also ends up dead, and mobster Bugsy Siegel and some American Nazi sympathizers appear to be behind some of the untimely deaths. Blanchard, a character Chandler would recognize, deserves a series of his own.

"...a superb Depression Era Hollywood Noir. (Chris) Blanchard is a tough protagonist who does not take prisoners. ... Readers will enjoy this 1930s thriller as the MGM major and minor leagues star system comes across in living color (even if the movies were mostly black and white)."--THE THRILLING DETECTIVE

 

THE TRAITOR IN US ALL

 

"Absolutely top-notch! Levinson's The Traitor in Us All offers up a delicious blend of the best in thriller writing: a keenly drawn hero, sharp plotting and dialogue, intelligent intrigue and a dash of the past—yesterday's Cold War harrowingly emerging in the present. A great read."

Jeffery Deaver

Jack Sothern is a journalist who used to have a career; now he’s a freelancer barely keeping his head above water. When two young girls are murdered and a third is abducted, Jack realizes that the crimes are related to the episode in his past that cost him his career. Desperate for redemption (both personal and professional), he risks his own life to save the kidnapped girl and to right an old wrong. This is quite a good crime novel, with a strong protagonist and a story that runs on character, not plot, twists. It’s a traditional mystery with a few unconventional elements—for example, the author introduces his main character by revealing him when another character opens a door—and, although the book appears to be a stand-alone, it’s a good bet that readers would enjoy seeing more of the likable Jack Sothern.
David Pitt --Booklist 

THE TRAITOR IN US ALL is the latest from Robert S. Levinson and is another terrific thriller...A white knuckle read with twists and turns that make Ludlum look like a beginner.
Crimespree Magazine

>The Traitor in Us All is an exhilarating action-packed thriller that has deep ugly ties back to the Cold War. The story line is fast-paced from the opening kidnapping to the final confrontation...
GENRE-GO-ROUND

It could be argued that Robert S. Levinson is a man with a golden touch
THE BIG THRILL

There are so many twists and turns that I couldn't begin to enumerate them...you're reading as fast as you can to see what happens next. Check it out
POP CULTURE MAGAZINE

Says Jeffery Deaver about best-selling author Levinson’s latest: “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. His series starring a Hollywood movie and music couple, Neil Gulliver and Stevie Marriner, reflects the author’s earlier career as an ace publicist. Such previous works as Hot Paint, The Elvis and Marilyn Affair, The James Dean Affair, and The John Lennon Affair are wonderfully bitchy reads
THE RAP SHEET
 

 

 

IN THE KEY OF DEATH

“Stuffed with action, violence, sex, music-business savvy and plot…”

Kirkus Reviews

 

"…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."

Crimespree Magazine

 

“(A) private investigative thriller with an excellent late twist…The scene in which Mr. Magic chats about the future with Billy the Kid is chilling and sets the tone…”

The Mystery Gazette

 

“Pure Levinson—smart, dark and funny. Levinson’s vision of human foible has never been sharper.”

T. Jefferson Parker

 

“A smooth and well-turned tale of music, murder and revenge...A novel of sparkling wit and complicated characters, of keen suspense and shocking revelations. A riveting thrill from start to finish.”                         

James Rollins

 

“Murder and mayhem in the music biz, by a man who knows where all the bodies are buried...A murderous roman a G-clef.”

F. Paul Wilson

 

“A novel with realism, the charm of  ‘being there’ and characters that strike a very real chord. I loved it!”

Heather Graham

 

“A gem—fast-paced and full of surprises, with a wonderful assortment of twists, turns and oddball characters...Superbly written.”

Michael Palmer

 

 

 

 

WHERE THE LIES BEGIN

“(An) ever-surprising, character-rich thriller.”

Baltimore Sun

 

“Tough and    funny…a gang of federal double dealers who make the Hollywood press corps look like a church choir.”

Chicago Tribune

 

"Robert S. Levinson's 'Where the Lies Begin' is modern L.A. noir at its finest. An adrenalin blast from first page to last! I couldn't recommend a book more highly."

John Lescroart

 

"Fast-paced and exciting, WHERE THE LIES BEGIN presents a dark loving Chandleresque vision of Los Angeles.  The city is as palpable a character as the fascinating violent friendship that Robert S. Levinson depicts."

David Morrell

 

"Poetic, gritty, and touched with black humor, Robert S. Levinson's Where the Lies Begin dissects the Machiavellian world of big-city politics, vividly dramatizing the unbridled ambition and terrifying end-game power plays only hinted at by today's headlines.  Levinson's cool writing and hot topics are bold and memorable.  Turn on your answering machine.  You're in for the night."

Gayle Lynds
 

 

ASK A DEAD MAN

"Robert S. Levinson writes a great read."

Nelson DeMille

 

"A novel that not only stands alone but stands tall. Writing with considerable invention, grace and energy, the author (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."

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

 

"Genuinely exciting. . .It sinks its narrative claws into our skin and drags us along on what  proves to be an exhilarating ride. . ."

Booklist

 

"A book full of sex and violence, fueled with enough  treachery and paranoia to light up a small city."

Chicago Tribune

 

"Buckets of blood are filled and much happens. . .Not without its guilty pleasures. . ."

Kirkus Reviews

 

 

"A solid espionage police procedural thriller. . .The story line is action-packed"

The Book Review

 

"From Belfast to L.A., the pace never slows. IRA assassins mix it up with government agents and the LAPD in a story that Hollywood should grab at once."

Joseph Wambaugh

 

"Talk about a story that doesn't quit until the very last page. Wow! The plotting is incredible, the shifting POVs dazzling, the humor is delicious, the mastery of the Irish lilt flawless, and the sheer joy in the act of writing etched on every page...A rollercoaster of a read."

Jerry Ludwig

 

"Levinson's story structure, eye for detail, flavorsome style, and knack for Hitchcockian suspense set pieces cannot be denied."

Jon L. Breen

 

HOT PAINT

 

". . .brilliantly-plotted and exceedingly clever telling of a subject not too many novelists have gone into. . . A hot-paced thriller (with) a nerve-bending series of startling discoveries in the vicious and dark side of the supposedly sophisticated art world. . .a true insight into today's international art world. Only Robert S. Levinson could have pulled it off so well."

Hollywood Inside Syndicate—Book of the Month Selection

 

"Warhol and the Holocaust? It all comes together. . .Levinson's prose snaps, crackles and pops, with a heavy show-biz flavor; it's Entertainment Tonight with handguns."

Charlotte (NC) Observer

 

"A wonderful writer, with style and wit. I recommend his books a lot."

Gayle Lynds

 

"The latest in a string of best-selling novels (proves) Levinson is a man prone to sharing fascinating fictitious affairs and attracting a steadily growing readership."

Mystery Readers Journal

 

"It is truly a great mystery."

Clive Cussler

 

 

THE JOHN LENNON AFFAIR

 

"Wonderful dialog, great plotting, plentiful Hollywood tidbits, and literate prose; strongly recommended."

Library Journal (Starred Review)

 

"The author, relying on personal memories (from his years as a rock ‘n’ roll publicist) along with an apparently vivid imagination, pulls out all the stops for a tale spanning the decades separating Lennon’s murder and a fictional contemporary music festival. . .The first two series entries (were) fast-paced adventures. Without discarding that Thin Man mood, Levinson has crafted a richer and more poignant novel."

Los Angeles Times

 

 

"The celebrity-rich tale will definitely appeal to the People magazine crowd eager for even fictional details about the lifestyles of the rich and famous. . ."

Booklist

 

"A fascinating and reliable trip down memory lane for the baby boomer generation, bringing back a special place in the hearts of the over forty crowd. The shoot-them-up action scenes add a sense of adventure to the well-articulated and subtly-executed novel. The romance between the two lead characters adds a lot of spice to a very enthralling thriller. Robert S. Levinson enchants the reader with his magical writing ability."

Midwest Book Review

 

"Pros: Excellent mixture of music, history and crime; Cons: None; The Bottom Line: Like Rock Music? You’ll eat this one up! Recommended: Yes. . .a serpentine plot that involves real and just-barely fictional stars, mobsters and politicians. . .great nostalgic celebratory fun."

Chicago Tribune

 

"Levinson knows the treacherous territory of the entertainment industry, with all its pomp, insincere flattery, betrayals, hyped promises and self-disgust. His insider's view is perfect Hollywood, both grimly jaundiced and overtly sentimental."

Providence(R.I.) Sunday Journal

 

"Every page, every person, every place snaps with the electricity of absolute, sometimes gritty, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious reality. . .Wonderfully wrought secondary characters weave their way through the story. . .They give the story depth and the kind of tension that makes this a read you can't put down."

Lip Service Magazine

 

 

THE JAMES DEAN AFFAIR

 

Los Angeles Times #1 Bestseller

 

An MSNBC Book of the Month selection

 

"Fans of Hollywood history and trivia will have a blast with the serpentine plot. . ."

Publishers Weekly

 

"Mr. Levinson takes a well-known Hollywood legend and creates a quirky and funny tale with a decidedly bent twist."

Romantic Times

 

"Once you take a sip of this page-turning concoction, you'll keep sipping until you get to the bottom of the story."

Digby Diehl

 

 

THE ELVIS AND MARILYN AFFAIR

 

"Stylish and droll. . .A glorious assortment of characters. . .The hunt for the real murderer and the chase for the letters doesn't stop until the last page."

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

 

  

"A smart, sassy fast-paced crime read that is funny, inventive, and hard to put down. . .Levinson's debut should leave many ardently hoping that it just begins what ought to be a most entertaining series."

Booklist (Starred Review)

 

"A deliciously-twisted story with an offbeat sense of humor and an edge of cynicism towards showbiz…An unexpected find."

Romantic Times

 

"Take The Aspern Papers, add plenty of sex talk about Marilyn and Elvis, sprinkle in some dead bodies, and you get a first novel brimming with brio, self-confidence, and nostalgia for vanished idols of Hollywood's various Golden Ages."

Kirkus Reviews

 

"One of the funniest, sexiest, and best-written novels to come along in years."

Nelson DeMille

 

"A hoot of a book. Great fun. A quick, clever read. A throwback in tone to those giddy old forties detective films with a twist of the fifties and sixties on the side. The idea and the mixed flavors of time and place would carry this one alone, but Levinson's light-hearted approach and clean style make it even better."

Joe R. Lansdale

 

"Reads like Raymond Chandler, with a touch of the Marx Brothers. This book is a lot of fun. Fast moving and sexy, Elvis and Marilyn will turn over in their graves. . .and do."

Peter Lefcourt

 

"Move over, Elmore Leonard, we've got Levinson now, dazzling us. . .grabs you on Page One and refuses to let go until you've been taken on a taut, tense, and terrific rollercoaster ride through Tinseltown in the days when the tinsel was real, the dialogue biting, and love was filled with intrigue, murder and suspense. The denouement will stun you. This is a must read."

Ernest Lehman

 

 

 

 

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