Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret of Father Brown (Dodo Press)” as Want to Read:
The Secret of Father Brown (Dodo Press)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secret of Father Brown (Father Brown #4)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  616 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox. " He wrote in an off-hand, whimsical prose studded with startling formulations. He is o ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published January 25th 2008 by Dodo Press (first published August 7th 1912)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret of Father Brown, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret of Father Brown

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,172)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 29, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves quality writing, philosophy, faith discussion and short stories
Recommended to Jonathan by: Those writers influenced by his works

As I commented in my review of the best of collection, Father Brown: The Essential Tales, G.K. Chesterton was a writer of elegance and beauty. His work is so tightly written and plotted within each of his short stories that at times if you miss a single point you can find yourself missing some of the genius storytelling.

It is easy to see why the Father Brown Stories are Chesterton's most popular works in our modern times. They are absolute classics of the detective genre, written exquisitely wi
Feb 14, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chesterton, mysteries
I had thought that, after three volumes of short stories about that intrepid priest/detective, Father Brown, G K Chesterton would tire of his creation, with a resulting diminution in the quality of the stories. But, no, The Secret of Father Brown is as fresh as ever; and its author has instituted some interesting changes.

First of all, the stories are framed within a story in which an American writer comes to ask Father Brown about his "secret." The priest's answer startles him: "You see, it was
Veronica Bejarano
Jul 27, 2015 Veronica Bejarano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detectives
Desde que vi por primera vez la serie de televisión de la BBC The Father Brown o el Padre Brown, me cautivó y sus deducciones y su aura de bondad llenaron mi cabeza de nuevas ilusiones sobre otro detective más que se une a mi colección que tanto añoraba aumentar. Y por la gracia del señor tengo en mis manos el relato del Secreto del Padre Brown y otro más llamado La Cruz Azul en un libro que incluye un cd para escucharlo en ingles y les puede decir que me fascinaron. Un buen día vi el pequeño li ...more
Oct 02, 2011 F.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
G.K. Chesterton’s tales of his humble little priest with “a harmless hobby of murder and robbery” continue to be a gentle joy. They certainly lack danger and suspense, and are probably best viewed from a kind of academic armchair detective’s perspective. There is no Sherlock Holmes adrenalin of charging out with the game afoot, but instead a sitting back and allowing a quiet and simple man to explain just what the game was and how it worked.

I don’t know how far the BBC show ‘Jonathan Creek’ has
Carol Apple
May 18, 2014 Carol Apple rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not usually a reader of crime fiction, but I like G.K. Chesterton and thought I’d give Father Brown a try. I loved this collection of stories and especially enjoyed that each is really a philosophical or theological discussion. But if you are not into philosophy don’t be scared off: These stories are beautifully written, witty, exquisitely plotted, and populated with intriguing characters.

One of Chesterton’s principal philosophical propositions is that while strict materialism is bound by i
Glen U
Feb 21, 2016 Glen U rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Secret of Father Brown" is another in a series of detective short stories written by G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton was a contemporary of both Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, and while friends with both of his rival writers, he disagreed philosophically with both. Oscar Wilde was known for his hedonism, while Shaw was an avowed Progressive. Chesterton leaned towards the Church and his writings always contained references to the church and its tenets. Father Brown, the protagonist of his s ...more
Rob Messenger
Sep 29, 2015 Rob Messenger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoying these clever mysteries...
Oct 02, 2015 Marijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Generaciju nakon A. C. Doylea, Chestertonov seoski svećenik uspješno stoji na ramenima divova.
Mar 01, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eight brief tales reminding us that great storytelling doesn't need hundreds of pages, just a handful, to trigger the imagination.

Beautiful clipped and engaging prose frame engaging stories of crime with Chesterton/Brown showing that many things are not what they seem ... that appearances can deceive.

As an aside, reading these stories I am reminded that, for me, the Kenneth More interpretation of Father Brown is much truer to the books than a more recent version, and I could not help often heari
Adam Graham
Apr 15, 2012 Adam Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you wondered how the great detectives solved their cases? In The Secret of Father Brown, while visiting Flambeau's house Father Brown meets a curious American who has to know as some of his countrymen think Father Brown is using mystical powers. Father Brown offers his explanation:

"You see, I had murdered them all myself," explained Father Brown
patiently. "So, of course, I knew how it was done."

Grandison Chace had risen to his great height like a man lifted to the ceiling by a sort of sl
Rex Libris
Mar 20, 2014 Rex Libris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fourth in the series of the Father Brown collections, we learn how Father Brown solves his cases. In an introductory and concluding chapter, our protagonist explains how he puts himself in the mind ofthe suspect and tries to think like him or her to see if that person would have motive or reason to commit the crime.

The eight short stories between are then conventional mysteries as found in the previous Father Brown anthologies. As always, the prose of chesterton is one of life's great pleasures.
Jan 24, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, philosophy
After reading any book of Chesterton, I get the same feeling "It was the best book I've ever read", and this is because you will always learn from them. I like to invest time in reading, but only if that time will become knowledge, wisdom, insights... Chesterton makes that possible. The best part of it, is that his writing is witty and whimsy thus you learn by being perfectly entertained.

This book is very strong from a philosophical point of view, this is because the main theme is the fact that
I was rather underwhelmed by these stories. Agatha Christie has some very similar plots with a lot more drama. It could be argued that Father Brown came first, but for us reading today, it means that Chesterton's stories are rather too familiar and predictable. There's the disappearing ruby that is saved from being stolen; the man masquerading as heir to a fortune; the actor who is shot on stage; the exotic people from the East who turn out to be red herrings, etc. It’s amusing enough and I enjo ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Kurtbg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
A murder mystery solving man of the cloth who happens to always be have mutual friends kilt. It's one of the hardest things to get right with mysteries... having the main character always be so involved with murder - unprofessionally. See The Coffee house series, Miss Marple, et al. The again, mysteries always seem to fall or fly based on "the twist". These twists are ok.
I felt the author wrote himself as every character. It's hard not to think it when they have the same initials.
Early 1900's
Two thumbs up. Highest quality in mystery fiction.
Completed at Caribou camp, 2006
John Carter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2011 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I enjoyed this e-book volume more than the previous one, it was harder to read because my nook upon four or five occasions decided to backtrack, sometimes as many as 20-30 pages. This doesn't happen in an actual book, where the reader has marked the place with a bookmark. Perhaps my nook is deficient. At any rate, the stories seemed more interesting, I thought. It may be that I save the last book, The Scandal of Father Brown, for when I have nothing else left to read.
Feb 21, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deep-fiction
Less scientific than Sherlock, of greater solemnity than Lord Peter Wimsey. Lewis-style insights in a semi-comical sleuth!

Loved it.
Kathy  Petersen
I am not fond of short stories. Either I feel burdened to finish one in a single sitting, or it's over before my "reading time" is up. However the short story form is the only one Father Brown inhabits, and I wanted to renew my acquaintance with the thoughtful, intuitive detective in clerical garb. My sojourn with him was pleasant enough, but not enough to seek him out in the remainder of his appearances.
May 13, 2014 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2014
Another good Father Brown set of short stories. They all are so clever.
Chesterton, G.K.
The Penguin Complete Father Brown

In compilation only.

1) The Secret of Father Brown
2) The Mirror of the Magistrate
3) The Man with Two Beards
4) The Song of the Flying Fish
5) The Actor and the Alibi
6) The Vanishing of Vaudrey
7) The Worst Crime in the World
8) The Red Moon of Meru
9) The Chief Mourner of Marne
10) The Secret of Flambeau
Feb 17, 2015 Mizuki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a "Meh" feeling toward those stories.
Jun 12, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better Father Brown books. The endings of each story with are more satisfying. They present moral principles through Father Brown summation of the crime, the perpetrator, the perpetrator's motivation, ethical discernment and moral principle outlined. Interesting stories with theological closure.
Mar 02, 2012 stormhawk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
unlike the other collections, this one begins. and ends with a little wrap-around that purports to reveal secrets, but, Father Brown remains as inscrutable as ever, while being as open ss any man can be. There is more similarity between stories than in the previous collections, but each is a charming little treat.
I enjoyed it, but not my favourite series by any means. Maybe too thoughtful and too tame. Interesting mysteries, having said that.
Justin Brown
Oct 30, 2012 Justin Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Sherlock Holmes and when I read these the feeling was the same. Short and easy reads.
Nan Silvernail
Father Brown discusses his method, illustrating it with a few stories.

The start of "The Song of the Flying Fish" is hilarious.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 39 40 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection
  • Jeeves, Jeeves, Jeeves
  • Great Detectives: A Century of the Best Mysteries from England and America
  • Beware of the Trains (Gervase Fen, #9)
  • The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1
  • Kiss, Kiss / Switch Bitch / My Uncle Oswald
  • His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #8)
  • Poetical Works
  • Children of the Frost
  • The Best of Mystery: 63 Short Stories Chosen by the Master of Suspense
  • Nightmare Abbey; Crotchet Castle
  • The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Tomorrow-Tamer
  • The Trimmed Lamp and Other Stories of the Four Million
  • The Fantasy Worlds of Peter Beagle
  • The Pirate's Son
  • The Court of Stone Children
  • Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born in London, educated at St. Paul’s, and went to art school at University College London. In 1900, he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to 200 more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse, fi ...more
More about G.K. Chesterton...

Other Books in the Series

Father Brown (7 books)
  • The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown, #1)
  • The Wisdom of Father Brown (Father Brown, #2)
  • The Incredulity of Father Brown (Father Brown, #3)
  • The Scandal of Father Brown (Father Brown, #5)
  • The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Volume 12: The Father Brown Stories, Volume I
  • Father Brown: The Collected Works of Father Brown

Share This Book

“Flambeau, once the most famous criminal in France and later a very private detective in England, had long retired from both professions. Some say a career of crime had left him with too many scruples for a career of detection. Anyhow, after a life of romantic escapes and tricks of evasion, he had ended at what some might consider an appropriate address; a castle in Spain. [...] Flambeau had casually and almost abruptly fallen in love with a Spanish lady, married and brought up a large family on a Spanish estate, without displaying any apparent desire to stray again beyond its borders.” 1 likes
More quotes…