A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters, and Favorite Father Brown Stories, by G.K. Chesterton
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Think nothing exciting ever happens in the life of a clergyman? These two thrilling books, A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters, and Favorite Father Brown Stories, by G.K. Chesterton, may make you reassess that presupposition. Favorite Father Brown Stories concerns an English priest named Brown who lives in 19th century England, and takes on various odd cases that come his way in everyday life. Alternately, A Morbid Taste for Bones concerns an older monk named Brother Cadfael who lives in the middle ages, and is caught in the middle of the murder of a farmer in a small village. Desperately, he tries to figure out who murdered the man, to appease the farmer’s livid daughter Sioned. Since both Brown and Cadfael are of the priesthood, it is fascinating comparing the two characters and seeing how they are similar, and how they are different. Particularly, they contrast in terms of the time and setting they live in, and also in their methods of solving cases, but they are similar in how they both share the same view that man is a depraved being, capable of both great virtue and terrible evil. One thing that separates the two characters of Father Brown and Brother Cadfael is the world that the two men live in, which is separated by several centuries of time and a seemingly different reality. For instance, Brown lives in the very down to earth, highly materialistic world of 1800’s England. In all of his stories, there seem to be very little, if any, reference to the supernatural. Actually, in one Brown story, “The Salad of Colonel Cray”, when a colonel suspects that he was placed under a curse by the head of a cult because of odd occurrences such as being slightly touched and having blood run down his neck violently, Brown ends...
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...dfael lives in the mysterious times of the Middle Ages in Europe. Also, there is the fact that Brown is more of an introverted thinker, who keeps to himself until he has finally solved the mysterious cases surrounding him. Meanwhile, Brother Cadfael verbally processes and goes through his cases with those he can trust. But the thing that connects the two members of priesthood together is the fact that they both share a common view of man: that he is capable of good, but just as capable, and prone, to injustice, and iniquity. But these two sleuthing priests try to ensure that no injustice goes unnoticed when they are around, and that is what makes these books a joy to read.
Chesterton, G.K. Favorite Father Brown Stories. New York; Dover Publications, Inc. Print. 1993.
Peters, Ellis. A Morbid Taste for Bones. New York; The Mysterious Press. Print. 1977