Mystery Monday: Golden Age Detective Father Brown
That happened to me quite a few years ago with G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown series. I was making my way through Golden Age detective fiction when I stumbled on his short stories. I was devastated when I learned he’d been long gone by the time I started reading his works. (Yes, John Peterson has written over forty additional Father Brown stories, and as good as they are, they’re not the same.
Vastly different from Graham Greene, Dashiell Hammett, S.S. Van Dine, and Raymond Chandler, Chesterton was a prolific writer. He penned around eighty books, several hundred poems, more than two hundred short stories, four thousand essays, and several plays. Long before he began to delve into fiction, he was a columnist for a variety of publications including his own G.K.’s Weekly. He even wrote articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Chesterton was born on May 29, 1874 in Kensington, London and baptized into the Church of
The first Father Brown story, The Blue Cross, was published in 1910. Described as a short, stumpy Roman Catholic priest, “with shapeless clothes, a large umbrella, and an uncanny insight into human evil,” the good father is loosely based on the Rt. Rev. Msgr. John O’Connor, a parish priest who was involved in the author’s conversion. Father Brown is often assisted by the reformed criminal M. Hercule Flambeau.
Father Brown has appeared in film, including two German adaptations, radio, and television, the most recent of which ran from 2012 to 2019 and starred Mark Williams.
Are you a fan?
Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit?
Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?
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