The Secret of Father Brown (Father Brown, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret of Father Brown (Father Brown #4)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  354 ratings  ·  25 reviews
G. K. Chesterton's endearing clerical detective has entertained readers for nearly a century with his outward confusion, shabby umbrella, and uncanny understanding of the criminal mind. When Father Brown journeys to the Spanish castle where the notorious Flambeau has retired, the two old friends trade secrets and reminiscences through a series of interwoven tales. "It was...more
Paperback, 187 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by House of Stratus (first published 1927)
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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 604)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nov 29, 2012 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
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...more
Carol Apple
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...more
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...more
Adam Graham
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...more
Rex Libris
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.
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...more
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
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...more
John Carter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014, crime
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
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.
Though I still have some difficulty getting into the right groove with Chesterton's mode of writing fiction, the man's mind deserves as many stars as I could possibly give him. I am astounded by what I just finished reading.
I enjoyed it, but not my favourite series by any means. Maybe too thoughtful and too tame. Interesting mysteries, having said that.
Justin Brown
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.
Steve Smoot
still more religious but good
Susan Skylark
A step above Sherlock.
OK OK... interesting stories but detective has habit of miraculously pulling interpretation out of air...
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
Tira marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
Graham Litrenta
Graham Litrenta marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Best of Mystery: 63 Short Stories Chosen by the Master of Suspense
  • The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Volume II: The Short Stories
  • Mosses from an Old Manse
  • Hercule Poirot's Casebook (Hercule Poirot, #42)
  • The Fantasy Worlds of Peter Beagle
  • Cabbages and Kings
  • Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6)
  • Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy
  • A Whisper in the Dark
  • A Daughter's a Daughter
  • The Bishop Murder Case (A Philo Vance Mystery #4)
  • The Unabridged Mark Twain
  • Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles; The Mayor of Casterbridge; Far from the Madding Crowd
  • A Curtain of Green and Other Stories
  • Stories For Christmas
  • The Breaking Point: Stories
  • The World of Jeeves
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) cannot be summed up in one sentence. Nor in one paragraph. In fact, in spite of the fine biographies that have been written of him (and his Autobiography), he has never been captured between the covers of one book. But rather than waiting to separate the goats from the sheep, let’s just come right out and say it: G.K. Chesterton was the best writer of the twent...more
More about G.K. Chesterton...
Orthodoxy The Man Who Was Thursday The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown, #1) The Complete Father Brown The Everlasting Man

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…