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.
This is one of those books that timing I am sure is everything. After my last 3 weeks in the Flesh Cartel series this one fell short for me. And strangely I found myself mostly aroused. Should I feel disturbed? I am honestly not sure what my reaction should be. If I am supposed to feel arousal then the first 80% of this worked for me. However the last 20% just fell flat. There was really nothing earth shattering about the ending and was not near as fucked up as the ending I had created in my own mind. Actions from both parties seemed out of character with what occured the rest of the book and therefore it was even more difficult to believe. Oh well...the illustrations were quite beautiful and I wish more book had these additions.