Archive for Levi Stoltzfus

An excerpt from Brian Keene’s Invisible Monsters

Posted in Occult Detectives with tags , , on December 10, 2014 by Occult Detective

levi_smSo, as you know, I love the Occult Detective genre. Kind of obvious, no? Well, one of my favorites is Brian Keene’s Levi Stoltzfus, an ex-Amish occult detective skilled in the ways of powwow folk magic… accentuated by a command of various other magical disciplines.

A servant of God, Levi wields this impressive array of occult knowledge in a never-ending battle against the forces of darkness. He’s starred in the novels Ghost Walk and A Gathering of Crows, and appeared in Clickers vs Zombies (co-written with the late, great Jesus Gonzalez), plus he was the focus of the novellas The Witching Tree and The Last of the Albatwitches.

He’s slated to appear in two more novels in the near future, Bad Ground and next year’s Invisible Monsters.

Brian was kind enough to post an excerpt on Facebook. Enjoy.

Levi Stoltzfus

Posted in Archive with tags , , on August 14, 2013 by Occult Detective


Brian Keene’s Levi Stoltzfus
pen&ink by Bob Freeman

Enter the Hexenmeister

Posted in Archive with tags , , on February 8, 2012 by Occult Detective

My take on Brian Keene’s Occult Detective Levi Stoltzfus.

Levi has appeared in the novels Ghost Walk and A Gathering of Crows,
as well as the novella The Witching Tree (Is There A Demon In You?).

Levi is slated to return in Clickers vs Zombies (co-written with
J.F. Gonzalez) and the novel Bad Ground.

I, for one, can hardly wait.

The New Voice of the Mountains

Posted in Archive with tags , , on February 1, 2012 by Occult Detective

“After reading The Witching Tree by Brian Keene, I can comfortably say that he has become the 21st Century’s answer to Manly Wade Wellman.”  — Bob Freeman via Twitter

Yep, that’s what I said, and I meant every word of it.

Manly Wade Wellman’s name is not so widely known these days, which pains me to no end. As something of an occult detective aficionado, Wellman’s tales of John Thunstone, Judge Pursuivant, and Silver John the Balladeer have always struck a chord with me, particularly Thunstone. For sixty years Wellman penned some of the best speculative fiction ever written, earning numerous awards and accolades (as well as the ire of William Faulkner after he was bested by a mere “sci-fi and horror writer” for the coveted Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine award). Talking to readers under the age of forty, I am amazed that so few of them have even heard of Wellman, let alone have read any of his work.

But you know what, those kids under forty are reading Brian Keene.

I see Keene as the literary successor to Wellman, capturing the essence and spirit of  “the Voice of the Mountains”, particularly in his novels Dark Hollow, Ghost Walk, and A Gathering of Crows, and the short story I just finished reading, The Witching Tree (starring ex-Amish Magus Levi Stoltzfus). Stoltzfus would be right at home on a page penned by Wellman and Keene infuses the character with so much warmth and gravitas that you are instantly charmed by the eccentric occult detective.

I fell in love with Levi from the moment I first read him.

I think you will too.

Levi Stoltzfus Returns

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on April 5, 2011 by Occult Detective

You just can’t keep an ex-Amish Magus & Occult Detective down.

Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows is back in print.

Read my review here.

Keene announces Maelstrom

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on September 7, 2010 by Occult Detective

Review: A Gathering of Crows

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on August 17, 2010 by Occult Detective

A Review of Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows, with Spoilers

Obviously I have had a lifelong fascination with occult detective fiction. From Abraham Van Helsing to Harry D’Amour, John Silence to Adam Sinclair, Simon Iff to John Constantine — the pantheon of awe inspiring characters who have worn the mantle of occult detective is long and varied, with many an author dipping their quill into the well and weaving their own particular brand of magic through this sub-genre.

Fan favorite Brian Keene entered the fray in his 2008 Leisure release Ghost Walk, introducing us to Levi Stoltzfus, an ex-Amish magus skilled in the ways of powwow folk magic accentuated by a command of various other magical disciplines. A servant of God, Levi wields this impressive array of occult knowledge in a never-ending battle against the forces of darkness.

Ghost Walk was far and away my favorite of Keene’s books, primarily due to my immediate affection for Levi Stoltzfus. A Gathering of Crows, apparently the author’s final Leisure publication, narrowly supplants Ghost Walk and cements my growing obsession with the character.

A Gathering of Crows finds Keene at the top of his game. He has always had a knack for populating his books with interesting characters and you can expect more of the same here. The residents of Brinkley Springs come to life, even when they are presented as simple fodder for his monstre du jour.

And what a monster it is… Five shape-shifting, soul-eating revenants with a perchance for clothing themselves in the guise of black crows. They had once been human men, settlers of fabled Roanoke Island who turned to dark magic when times became perilous.  Their actions drew the attention of Meeble, one of the Thirteen, and they have served this fell spirit ever since, allowed on occasion to manifest and lay waste to small, isolated communities through the use of a devilish soul cage to trap the populous within the confines of their residency — becoming food for these fiendish and malefic entities.

Therein lies the secret to Keene’s success. A Gathering of Crows is filled with fascinating additions to the author’s Labyrinth Mythology. With each outing it seems another layer to this complex mythos is peeled back and revealed and fans of this pernicious confection are in for an exciting thrill-ride into other worlds and alternate realities.

Through it all, Levi Stoltzfus stands firm, steadfast and sure. Hints to his back story and the promise of more adventures to come make this ex-Amish magus one of the most compelling characters I’ve read in years. I eagerly look forward to Levi’s continuing story to be unfurled in Bad Ground, The Witching Tree, and an as yet titled novella.

A Gathering of Crows can be ordered HERE.  Visit Brian’s website and The Keenedom for more information.

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