Father Brown

I was less and less impressed with the Father Brown stories as mysteries as the series went on. As stories they were still fine and interesting, but the mystery aspect seemed to taken more and more of a Philo Vance feel than anything else. Father Brown was not only smarter than everyone else, he never even has moments of doubt. He becomes a paragon; he’s a faultless detective without peer who doesn’t even need to resort to anything resembling evidence that is discernible to anyone else. To enjoy the stories I had to stop regarding them as mysteries to be solve and merely enjoy the writing of Chesterton, which was masterful, as always. The last two books were The Secret of Father Brown and The Scandal of Father Brown. In the former, Father Brown reveals the secret of how he is so successful at finding the murderer. It boils down, in its essentials to placing himself in the mindset of the murderer and thinking of what would cause him to want to kill the victim. Once done, and knowing the list of suspects, he then can tell from the suspects personalities and motives which must be the guilty one, evidence or no. Fortunately for Father Brown, he doesn’t run across a case wherein there are two suspects of the same personality and motive or equally culpable personalities and motives.

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