Father Brown

Father Brown

G. K. Chesterton: Father Brown Investigates * (Harmat Kiadó 2019, short stories from The Complete Father Brown Stories)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, playwright, journalist, rhetorician, theologian and critic. He would like to be an artist when he was young, but he soon changed the brush to a pen and then used it only until the end of his life. He was considered a man of contradictions. One of the recurrent characters in his works was Father Brown, who is, of course, English, but Catholic, with an insignificant appearance but a captivating personality, and while he performs his priestly duties with great professional competence and love, his other passion is investigating crimes. His purpose is not to overtake the police, but to save the human soul. He doesn’t pursue the criminal, but the crime. Chesterton discovered Christianity as an adult and it also influenced his stories. He draws many biblical and world literature parallels in the stories, which are always permeated by the desire to search for the truth and get to know people more deeply. The stories have humorous parts, which make the often very twisted plot easier to understand.

Father Brown appears in a total of 53 short stories, which were published in books. This volume is a selection of those. This eight stories contain the detection of mysterious or even paranormal events. In every case, Father Brown uses his amazing logic to recognize the motives in the cases, which others cannot explain in any way. In several cases, he has to solve disappearances or locked room mysteries.

Father Brown’s stories have also inspired artists such as the queen of crime, Agatha Christie, and there are many adaptations of them: the character appears in movies, TV series and video games. Its most famous adaptation, the BBC television series captures the atmosphere of the short stories and the character of Father Brown brilliantly. The Don Matteo series of the Italian RAI TV company was also inspired by the figure of the English detective priest. And last year, the BBC devoted a series to one of the characters of the Father Brown series, Sister Boniface, a chemist nun who is also interested in crime, in which they perfectly evoke the life of small English towns in the late 1960s. The first season of the series was so successful that they continued the story this year.

*my translation