I love mysteries. I love Catholic writing. I especially love reading Catholic mysteries! My favorite Catholic detective is Father Brown; the only problem is that GK Chesterton (also known as GKC) only wrote 50 or so stories about this Catholic priest who was, in the words of his author, “that his conspicuous quality was not being conspicuous”. These original stories are wonderful reading … and re-reading … and re-reading. But I wanted more and GKC was long-dead before I even read my first one!
Problem solved with the publication by the American Chesterton Society of John Peterson’s The Return of Father Brown. In this paperbook, I found 44 original stories that are as good as GKC’s stories. Peterson has moved Father Brown from England to the American midwest, aging him to his 90s, but with a mind and a heart still strong and loving. Peterson “gets” GKC’s goal of “locked room” mysteries; he “gets” that Father Brown is more interesed in saving souls and protecting the innocent than in apprehending the criminal; and, Peterson “gets” that GKC’s seemingly innocuous mysteries are tales of the fallen nature of humans with the resulting deadly sins that can only be combatted with the cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love.