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Chesterton's Father Brown: Detective

Updated on October 7, 2014

If you like England in older times, odd detectives and good, wholesome family entertainment, you'll love Father Brown. He's a stumpy, scruffy Catholic priest who solves foul crimes through the power of his mind and inductive reasoning. He might not sniff horrible things and snort bad substances (naughty Holmes) but a knowledge of man's evil garnered from thousands of confessions means there's no murderer safe from his bespectacled glare.

The stories were written by famous author G K Chesterton early in the 1900s and have endured ever since. TV and film adaptations have been made in various countries and languages. The version I'm highlighting here is a 1970's English TV series, starring Kenneth More (Genevieve, The Admirable Crichton). More plays the priest beautifully, unobtrusively finding the killer of the evil Colonel Bohun and a succession other wrongdoers.

Like most good detective stories, these can be read or viewed many times. The little priest will be as welcome in your home as the dapper Poirot and his ilk. There's even a villain-turned-goodie in Hercule Flambeau to give the hint.

Flambeau is a great character in himself and he shows the subtlety of Chesterton's writing: Father Brown isn't a black and white thinker: he sees the potential for good and redemption in man, especially in Flambeau's jewel thief, caught by the priest and later to turn detective himself.

Safe for older kids and grannies, these stories are a delight and you'll be pleased to discover them. Follow the Amazon link for the first series of TV episodes or get the books from the links below.

The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books]
The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books]

Great Chesterton collection, with all the Father Brown short stories and a load of others. The link is to the Kindle version, over 50 books (!)

The Complete Father Brown Stories
The Complete Father Brown Stories

Smaller compilation, containing just Father Brown. Useful if you just want the priestly detective and not the rest of Chesterton's work - though I'd recommend having a look at other things he wrote.


Full movie

Colonel Bohun, near the church tower, with a hammer. Murder of a most foul cad.

Are you a fan of Father Brown? Do you like clever detectives without too much violence?

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    • David Paul Wagner profile image

      David Paul Wagner 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Further to my previous comment, one of the great essays my teacher introduced me to was G. K. Chesterton's "Cheese". That essay was originally published in "Alarms and Discursions" (1910).

    • David Paul Wagner profile image

      David Paul Wagner 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I read some of G. K. Chesterton's essays at secondary school and was fortunate in having a teacher who helped me understand what I was reading.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I read the Complete Father Brown collection, in one volume, when I was in my late teens and loved them. I've also enjoyed seeing them on TV over the years.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I read a lot of G K Chesterton at school, including Father Brown, the nuns saw his books as fitting for young ladies. One year we watched a wonderful film version with Alec Guinness and, even though Kenneth More is one of my favourite actors, he couldn't remove my image of Guinness

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 3 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Never heard of this detective before. Love a good mystery so I'll give a try

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 3 years ago

      Yes, I certainly do enjoy non-violent detective series. And, I like Kenneth Moore starring as Father brown!