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Perhaps his reason had been suddenly unseated by the unnatural captivity he carried with him, but in that wood he felt something unfathomably German – the fairy tale.
While I’ve found all of G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories enjoyable (all of them that I’ve read anyway), “The Fairy-Tale of Father Brown” could rank up there as my favorite. I like the way Chesterton doesn’t always use the traditional mystery/detective story format – the one with all the “usual suspects”.
In the case of this story, Father Brown and his frequent police detective partner, Flambeau, find themselves in a German pub having a beer commenting on the fairy-tale aspects of the small town they are visiting. Flambeau tells Father Brown about the unsolved murder of Prince Otto.
Of course Father Brown listens, asks a few questions, then solves the twenty year-old mystery – all over a beer. When Father Brown tells his friend how the murder happened, he tells it in the form of a fairy-tale – and a rather good fairy-tale at that.
This story is included in G. K. Chesterton’s The Complete Stories of Father Brown. I read it when I selected the Seven of Hearts for Week 42 of my Deal Me In short story project. My Deal Me In list can be found here. Deal Me In is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.