Leave Me By Dying is a prequel to the earlier Ellis Portal books. It is set in 1965 when Ellis is twenty-three and a University of Toronto law student. One night Gleason Adams, a fellow student of unquestioned wealth but questionable character, persuades Ellis to accompany him to the city morgue for what Gleason claims is a routine autopsy, part of a law-school project they are supposed to be working on. They find the cadaver of a woman who died under circumstances they cannot figure out. Was it murder? Suicide? Or something else? Before they can begin to decide, the body disappears and Ellis is reluctantly drawn into areas of the city that shake him out of the tweedy world of the campus and thrust him into a seedy world of disreputable bars and marginal people.

"An absorbing read that stays with you long after you put it down."
New Brunswick Reader

"I had not seen anything connected to Gleason but his address on that police form. Yet it had led me to the inescapable conclusion that the police were interested in him. Did they know he was secreting evidence in a homicide investigation? Well, I knew, and the time to do something about it had come."