As advertised, this modest kitten squisher contains all five collections of Father Brown stories, as well as both parts of The Donnington Affair. That’s nearly 800 pages of everyone’s favorite short, round priest with the funny round hat. I’ve pretty much been fibro-fogged up the wazoo for the entire month of July, so I figured a book of short stories would be perfect reading and not tax my impaired concentration abilities. I was sort of right.
The Blue Cross, the first story in the first collection, is funny, clever, five-star gold. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to read more. The second story went downhill from there, and then my Father Brown experience plateaued in the mildly-entertaining-to-mildly-disappointing range and I found myself skimming or outright skipping entire stories. (Especially any story in which early 1900’s racism reared its ugly head. There was some pretty gross Orientalism and more N-words than I was prepared to encounter. Oh, and if the first person to perfect time travel can go back and ban white British novelists from writing anything to do with voodoo, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.)
In hindsight, I probably should have taken a break and read something different between each collection. It turns out my ability to binge-watch the TV series inspired by the stories doesn’t translate to the stories themselves and there is indeed such a thing as too much Father Brown.