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Welcome to Allan Levine Books

Site of historian and historical mystery writer Allan Levine:

The award-winning author of sixteen books including Toronto: Biography of City (2014), and King: William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny (2011), which won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction.

Coming of Age: A History of the Jewish People of Manitoba (2009) that won the McNally-Robinson Book of the Year and the Best History Book Award at the Canadian Jewish Book Awards in 2010, and was the co-winner of the J.I. Segal Prize in Canadian Jewish History.

Allan has spent his career bringing history to life and commenting on current events in the Winnipeg Free Press and National Post, among several other publications he contributes to. In October 2020, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Winnipeg.

Allan Levine

Now Available from Lyons Press

Details Are Unprintable

Wayne Lonergan And The Sensational Cafe Society Murder

The narrative of Details Are Unprintable primarily unfolds over a seven-month period from October 1943 to April 1944—from the moment the body of twenty-two-year old Patricia Burton Lonergan is discovered in the bedroom of her New York City Beekman Hill apartment, to the arrest of her husband of two years, Wayne Lonergan, for her murder, and his subsequent trial and conviction. But this story goes back in time to the 1920s, when Wayne Lonergan grew up in Toronto and then forward to his post-prison life following his deportation to Canada. It is the chronicle of Lonergan in denial as a bisexual or gay man living in an intolerant and morally superior heterosexual world; and of Patricia, rich and entitled, a seeker of attention, who loved a night out on the town—all set against the fast pace of New York’s ostentatious café society. Part True Crime and part a social history of New York City in the 1940s, this book transports readers to the New York World’s Fair of 1939 when Patricia’s father William Burton first encountered Lonergan; the Stork Club, 21 Club, and El Morocco to experience with Patricia a night of drinking champagne cocktails and dancing; and the muggy New York courtroom where Lonergan’s fate was decided.

“Allan Levine’s extraordinary reconstruction of a high-society murder case that drove World War Two from the tabloid front pages in 1940s New York City offers a fascinating exploration of the New York social scene and the place of homosexuality, closeted or not, within it. It’s also a page-turning legal procedural that gracefully gives lay readers a vivid narrative of a hard-fought trial, as well as post-trial developments that unfolded during a revolution in the rights of criminal defendants.” —Daniel Richman, former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York


Book Launch, October 7 2020 with McNally Robinson



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Read Allan’s new series about Crime in the Lower East Side a century ago in Tablet magazine: The Dark Side of the Lower East Side
Chronicled and mythologized in scholarly and popular history books, novels, films, and plays, New York’s Lower East Side in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was overcrowded, and teeming with peddlers, tailors, sweatshops, and barely livable tenement houses. By 1910, an estimated 540,000 Jews resided within the neighborhood’s 1.5 square miles. The poverty, hardships, and daily struggle to survive drove some Jewish immigrants to seek other ways to make a living, even get rich. Hence, the Lower East Side also had a vast collection of crooks, pimps, prostitutes, thieves, pickpockets, gangsters, fraudsters, forgers, arsonists, and hoodlums. Offered here is an ongoing series of portraits of some of these nefarious characters, who also left their mark on the Lower East Side’s historical legacy.

The Bootlegger's Confession


Sam Klein is back!

The Bootlegger’s Confession, a new Sam Klein Mystery published in November of 2016 by Ravenstone, an imprint of Turnstone Press. Set in 1922, three years after The Bolshevik's Revenge, Klein investigates the murder of a Jewish rural storekeeper involved with American bootleggers.

Availiable at McNally Robinson and



Praise for Toronto:

History buffs will thoroughly enjoy Allan Levine’s volume Toronto. This huge book is the result of (obviously) years of painstaking research and thorough writing.” Five Stars.
San Francisco Book Review

“This highly informative and easy-to- read account accumulates four centuries of history that have transformed “a quiet and family-friendly green space on the rolling land alongside the Humber River” into one of the biggest urban centers in North America. Award-winning author and historian Levine (King) has produced a popular-styled “biography” of Toronto, the biggest, the richest, the most multicultural, and the most hated city in Canada.”
—Publishers’ Weekly



William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny

“Allan Levine gave himself the mission of turning this dull but eccentric Canadian into a subject worthy of contemporary discussion. He succeeds, bringing to life the inner thoughts of his subject as best anyone can. … [Levine] is one of those rare writers equally adept at fiction and non-fiction, helpful in the King case where the two realms seem to blend.” 

— Donald Benham, Winnipeg Free Press

Winner of the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-fiction, 2012

Fugitives of the Forest


The Heroic Story of Jewish Resistance and Survival During the Second World War

"This is a story told just in time, for the many eye witnesses are dying every year now. But Levine carefully documents their accounts and reconstructs a powerful moment of triumph in the middle of the modern world's greatest catastrophe."

— Doug Wead, U.S. presidential historian, philanthropist, and Special Assistant to U.S. President George H. W. Bush.