Father Brown: Master Detective and Priest

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of finishing The Complete Father Brown, which covers all of the adventures of G. K. Chesterton’s famous priestly sleuth.  The fictional detectives who came before Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes relied upon rudimentary thinking skills, luck, and enterprise, while Holmes himself used a combination of precise observation and deductive reasoning.  Father Brown, though he also has keen powers of observation, differentiates himself from the detectives prior to him by using his knowledge of the human heart to solve crimes.



What allows Father Brown to understand the human heart so well?  As you may have guessed, his performing the Sacrament of Penance or Confession gives Father Brown his special knowledge of the darkness within the heart.  He understands also that he himself might, under the right circumstances and not aided by grace, have committed some of these crimes.  And so, he places himself in the perpetrator’s shoes in order to solve each mystery.  Interestingly, Fr. Brown is more concerned with the criminal’s soul than bringing him to justice, and occasionally he declines to bring the crook before a state judge as long as the crook is willing to beg forgiveness of the Just Judge.

Complete Fr Brown

It is this facet of Father Brown which gives these mysteries a flavor one finds no where else.  Unlike in reading Sherlock Holmes, one finds one’s understanding expands in addition to one’s intellect.  Chesterton brings forth a wide variety of actors in each tale, almost equaling Dickens or Shakespeare for the sheer variety of characters.  I can only recall about three stories which felt unoriginal, i.e. a similar to a prior mystery.  Then again, the surprises and new twists Chesterton adds to religious and philosophical discussions do not disappoint either.  I highly recommend these stories to keen observers of human nature who love philosophical and theological discussions.


The “block”

Cristian Mihai

It happens to all kinds of artists. Writers, painters, sculptors, actors, singers. And it’s painful. You don’t feel like doing anything, or you feel as if everything you do is crap. You’re the worst artist ever born. You feel like that’s it. You’re done.

But there’s only one thing you can do:

You fight it.

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Dear Tor

I had no idea that TOR was so Leftist in its publishing. Shows how little I read Fantasy books these days. I need to change that, but I’m not buying from TOR anymore!

Mad Genius Club

Guest post by Jonathan LaForce

As anybody who knows me will tell you, I like reading.  It’s been a life-long pleasure of mine. Someday I hope to have my own private library where I can sit and relax and write to my heart’s content. Something with a fireplace and a real leather chair, and an R2D2 mini fridge full of Dr. Pepper.

There will be books on art, history, various cultures, poetry, novels, literature, the romance novels I’ve written.  Want to know what won’t be found there?

Anything by TOR.  Period. Dot.  End of story.  Why?  Simple really.

You see folks, in the last four years, Tor has shown increasingly that it doesn’t care for anything besides narrative.  It doesn’t care for anything besides lying.  Labeling fellow authors and close friends of mine “misogynistic homophobic neo-Nazis” simply because we prefer telling a good story to pushing political beliefs is wrong. …

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