Along with Sherlock and Hercule Poirot, Father Brown is one of my favorite detectives. His tactics in crime solving are a bit different than his counterparts. He views the crime scene in a more spiritual, emotional way. In the criminal, he does not necessarily see the act but sees the human. And in that human, he sees himself. It is primarily by looking inside his own sinful tendencies that he is able to predict the acts of others. Father Brown’s goal is not necessarily to send the offender to jail but to bring about a confession and a repentance.

Because he seems so gentle and compassionate, there’s one quirk of his that I find humorous. He can be surprisingly outspoken! His words can be called audacious and even brash, but they’re always mixed with great wisdom. While reading, his quotes tend to slap you in the face (but in a good way… sorta…awe inspiring) They often cause me to sit back and think…and I truly enjoy anything which has the power to do that!

 ” I don’t see a pin to choose between your scientific superstition and the other magical superstition. They both seem to end in turning people into paralytics, who can’t move their own legs or arms or save their own souls. The rhyme said it was the Doom of the Darnaways to be killed, and the scientific textbooks says it is the Doom of the Darnaways to kill themselves. Both ways they seem to be slaves.” – “Doom of the Darnaways” – C.K. Chesterton

A bit of background to the story: Every seventh heir of the Darnaways had a habit of murdering their wives and then killing themselves. Common superstition thought of it as a curse while science called it hereditary. This is why Father Brown got so miffed. Instead, he chooses to believe that each person has their own will and is not bound to what either curse or scientific theory states about them. He believes that you always have a choice in the way you act.

Doesn’t this just make you sit back and ponder a little? What do you think of his opinion?

You can find this short story either in

The Best of Father Brown


The Incredulity of Father Brown



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