Friday, October 8, 2010

The Complete Father Brown Stories

I always enjoy reading detective stories and only a few months ago I heard about Father Brown, an English detective created by G.K. Chesterton in 1911. This book happens to contain the complete collection: The Innocence of Father Brown, The Wisdom of Father Brown, The Incredulity of Father Brown, The Secret of Father Brown, The Scandal of Father Brown, and last: The Donnington Affair, which appeared in Premier magazine in two parts.

Unlike the arrogant Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown is mild-mannered and doesn't attract attention. He is short and often carries a large, shabby umbrella. A Roman Catholic priest, he knows a lot about psychology and people's mind. Perhaps criminals come to him for absolution and tell him how they work. Even police inspectors comes to ask his advice to solve cases. Not much about Father Brown's daily life, like how he takes care of his flocks, but when they are in trouble, he will come and help them. One of the characters that often pops out is Flambeau, ex-French criminal who is caught by Father Brown in the first story (The Blue Cross), and later becomes a private detective and his good friend.

If I have to choose between Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown, I still prefer Sherlock Holmes because his adventures are more dangerous - and I like very much The Adventure of The Dancing Men. Father Brown is more like Miss Marple with her rural surrounding - and they both are amiable and have no enemies.

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