This is a unique collection of ten of Chesterton's famous Father Brown stories which puts special emphasis on the role that Brown's Catholic faith, and the Ten Commandments, played in helping him solve the murder mysteries. As Dorothy Sayers once wrote, Chesterton was "the first man of our time to introduce the great name of God into a detective story ... to enlarge the boundaries of the detective story by making it deal with death and real wickedness and real, that is to say, divine judgment."
When Chesterton introduced his priest-detective Brown to the world of detective fiction, he brought a new dimension to that world. This was the dimension of sin, as distinct from crime. The key to Chesterton's radical approach is that the criminal is not necessarily the worst sinner in the story, nor is his crime its guiltiest offense. The priest is most interested in God's Commandments, not in the legal code of the State. Thus Chesterton opened up the wider possibilities of the Decalogue with crimes against the Sabbath, for example, or outrages of covetousness, dishonor to one's parents, or idolatry.
This edition includes generous footnotes (not available in other editions) which help to clarify the literary and historical allusions made by Father Brown. It is based on the texts of the original editions by Chesterton for assurance of complete authenticity, and is set in easily readable type.
These are excellent short detective yarns in the classic British tradition of Sherlock Holmes - puzzling concoctions of mysterious crimes, dubious suspects and ambiguous clues. They are among the very best of the Father Brown stories.
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