Father Brown and the Ten Commandments

Selected Mystery Stories

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This unique collection of Father Brown mysteries links tales by G.K. Chesterton with the Ten Commandments. The connection is often surprising, however, for the criminal is not necessarily the worst sinner in the story, nor is his crime necessarily the worst offense.

When Chesterton created the character of Father Brown, he brought a new dimension to mystery stories—the distinction between crime and sin. As the priest-detective applies his powers of observation to solve a case, he picks up clues about other offenses, such as those against the Sabbath or one's parents. Father Brown's main concern is not the laws of the State but the Commandments of God.

As Dorothy Sayers once wrote, G.K. Chesterton was "the first man of our time to introduce the great name of God into a detective story . . . to enlarge the boundaries of the detective story by making it deal with death and real wickedness and real, that is to say, divine judgment."

This edition includes footnotes not available in other versions, which help to clarify the literary and historical allusions made by Father Brown. It is based on the texts of Chesterton's original editions, for assurance of authenticity, and is set in easily readable type.

John Peterson

John Peterson, a longtime Chestertonian, has written seven books and numerous articles for popular and scholarly journals.

G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton was one of the most beloved and prolific authors of the twentieth century. He wrote dozens of popular books on a variety of topics and thousands of essays. His works include Orthodoxy, The Everlasting ManThe Man Who Was Thursday, and the Father Brown mystery stories.


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"John Peterson is the world's greatest expert on Chesterton's famous priest-detective. His presentation of these particular Father Brown stories only adds to their craftiness and profundity."
— Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society

"Chesterton wore many hats—as an apologist, a biographer, a critic, a journalist and more. For many he is best known and loved as the inventor of the incomparable Father Brown. It is, therefore, a joy to see this new vintage collection of Father Brown stories brought together by the venerable and veteran Chestertonian John Peterson."
— Joseph Pearce, Author, Wisdom and Innocence: The Life of G.K. Chesterton

"This is an excellent edition of selected Father Brown stories and a fitting tribute to Chesterton's lovable sleuth and saver of souls. Using the Ten Commandments as a template, the stories are carefully annotated for the modern reader, introducing Chesterton's sparkling English wit, charm and insight to a new generation of fans."
— Fiorella De Maria, Author, The Sleeping Witness: A Father Gabriel Mystery

"Father Brown stories stand in stark contrast to twenty-first century mysteries that portray a hopelessly disordered world. For Chesterton, the world is messy because of sin, but its Creator is actively engaged in it."
— T.M. Doran, Author,Toward the Gleam

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