Today I am reviewing short stories by G.K. Chesterton, specifically a collection of works called Favorite Father Brown Stories.
So what is this story/these stories all about?
Father Brown is a Roman Catholic Priest and amateur detective who solves mysteries and crimes using his intuition and keen understanding of human nature.
First impressions? I love these stories.
The writing is what I would describe as delightfully quaint. It puts me in mind of simple English countrysides with gentle rolling hills dotted with sheep or something along those lines. That is literally the image that the style of writing puts in my head.
These are mysteries, requiring Father Brown, the police, and the reader to catch a criminal or unravel the secrets of unexplainable events before the end. The stories are sweetly simplistic and yet still manage to be enthralling at the same time. It isn't the same sort of page-turning suspense as a Dee Henderson crime novel, but it is uniquely fascinating.
The characters are all rather simplistic in that there isn't a lot of backstory or character development, but this rather adds to the delightfulness of the story rather than hindering it. They are well-rounded enough for a short story, and if there was more backstory or character development it would rather clutter up the story than add substance.
The writing style is, as I've said, delightful in it's simplicity. This perhaps sticks out to me because I am currently reading Paolini's Inheritance Cycle where nothing is allowed to be stated plainly so the uncluttered, straightforward prose of G.K. Chesterton was a refreshing change. Another thing I enjoyed immensely was the very British-ly dry humor. I love a good dry wit, and I find it most readily among the English. It made me quite happy to read it, but I suppose that's merely a personal preference.
I also love the way that Chesterton describes things. It's never the obvious description and it often makes me chuckle. He really is quite the delightful writer.
Father Brown is a bit like Sherlock Holmes and Father Gilbert all rolled into one, both of whom I love so of course I couldn't help but love him too.
If I have any complaints about these stories it is simply this: There aren't enough of them. I definitely wanted to keep reading when I came to the end of the book.
Would I read this book again? Absolutely.
Would I recommend this book to others? Definitely.