British writer GILBERT KEITH CHESTERTON (1874-1936) expounded prolifically about his wide-ranging philosophies-he is impossible to categorize as "liberal" or "conservative," for instance-across a wide variety of avenues: he was a literary critic, historian, playwright, novelist, columnist, and poet. His witty, humorous style earned him the title of the "prince of paradox," and his works-80 books and nearly 4,000 essays-remain among the most beloved in the English language
Chesterton is best remembered, perhaps, as a spinner of mystery tales, and for his recurring character of Father Brown. This 1914 collection of stories includes some of the crime-solving priest's greatest cases:
. "The Absence of Mr. Glass"
. "The Paradise of Thieves"
. "The Duel of Dr. Hirsch"
. "The Man in the Passage"
. "The Mistake of the Machine"
. "The Head of Caesar"
. "The Purple Wig"
. "The Perishing of the Pendragons"
. "The God of the Gongs"
. "The Salad of Colonel Gray"
. "The Strange Crime of John Boulnois"
. "The Fairy Tale of Father Brown"