[[quoteright:288:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FatherBrown.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:288:"The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting."]]

''Father Brown'' is a detective series created by Creator/GKChesterton. The protagonist is actually called Father J. Brown, though we are never told what the initial stands for, and is originally presented as the parish priest of Cobhole in [[UsefulNotes/HomeCounties Essex]], though he is found in parishes as far afield as Italy and South America. In appearance he is undistinguished, small and dumpy, short-sighted and not particularly intelligent; dressed in shabby clerical black, and carrying an umbrella as dumpy and shabby as himself.

The ''Father Brown'' [[MysteryFiction mysteries]] generally appeared first as independent short stories in various magazines; (most of) the stories were eventually collected in a series of five books:

* ''The Innocence of Father Brown'' (1911)
* ''The Wisdom of Father Brown'' (1914)
* ''The Incredulity of Father Brown'' (1926)
* ''The Secret of Father Brown'' (1927), and
* ''The Scandal of Father Brown'' (1935).

Three stories, "The Donnington Affair" (1914) (GKC writing the solution of a mystery set up by Max Pemberton), "The Vampire of the Village" (1936), and "The Mask of Midas" (1936), were published separately, though the second of these was later included in editions of ''Scandal''.

In 1934 a film version of Chesterton's priest based on "The Blue Cross"' appeared with the title ''Father Brown, Detective'', with Walter Connelly in the title rôle. In 1954 ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-BNonixFao Father Brown]]'' (U.S. title, ''The Detective'') appeared with Alec Guinness as the eponymous priest. Heinz Rühmann played Father Brown in two German adaptations of Chesterton's stories, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqXBj4S2kNE Das schwarze Schaf]]'' ("The Black Sheep") (1960) and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS8isZQjGO8 Er kann's nicht lassen]]'' ("He Can't Stop Doing It") (1962). (The score to these, by Martin Böttcher, became very popular in Germany.) In 1970 an Italian television series entitled ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDCVk_MNMe8 I racconti di padre Brown]]'' ("The Tales of Father Brown") starred the well-known Italian comedian Renato Rascel. In 1974, Kenneth More starred in a 13-episode ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UZG6S-vCY8 Father Brown]]'' TV series, each episode adapted from one of Chesterton's short stories. In 1979, the TV move ''Sanctuary of Fear'' featured an American Father Brown (Barnard Hughes) sleuthing in contemporary New York City.. but the protagonist's only resemblances to Chesterton's character are his name and occupation. A German television series, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVKROsrsjXI Pfarrer Braun]]'' ("Pastor Brown"), loosely based on the Chesterton character, is in production since 2003; its title theme by Martin Böttcher is a ShoutOut to the one of the Heinz Rühmann films. A [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q0q11 2013 TV series]] produced by [[Creator/TheBBC the BBC]] cast Mark Williams of ''Series/TheFastShow'' and ''Film/HarryPotter'' fame in the title role. The trope page for that show can be found [[Series/FatherBrown here]].

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!! Tropes featured in this series include: (Note that the following examples are heavy on spoilers!)

* ActuallyThatsMyAssistant: Invoked in "The Scandal of Father Brown".
* AllLovingHero: Father Brown, appropriately for a priest, has a deep sense of ''agape,'' spiritual love for all people. He recognizes human monsters when he sees them, but even more so, he recognizes people's capacity for goodness and redemption.
* AmateurSleuth: Father Brown. Technically all of his training is in theology; he just happens to have a keen insight into the criminal mind thanks to his experience listening to Confession.
* AttendingYourOwnFuneral: In "The Resurrection of Father Brown".
* BabiesEverAfter: Flambeau and his Spanish Lady produced a large and very domestic brood of children.
* BadHabits: Used, probably coincidentally, as BookEnds in the first and last stories.
** In "The Blue Cross", Flambeau pretends to be a clergyman with the intention of robbing Father Brown of the titular artifact. Father Brown rumbles him because he [[CriticalResearchFailure tries to argue for moral relativism]].
** In the final story, "The Vampire of the Village", Father Brown rumbles TheVicar of an English village as a criminal imposter because his religious and social opinions show [[ChurchOfSaintGenericus an implausible mish-mash of characteristics of different and antagonistic factions of the Anglican Church]].
* BeliefMakesYouStupid:
** Taken down with extreme prejudice in Father Brown's very first story, "The Blue Cross".
--->"...But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."\\
"What?" asked the thief, almost gaping.\\
"You attacked reason," said Father Brown. "It's bad theology."
** From the same story: "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?"
** On a couple of occasions, Father Brown essentially states that he knows a certain mysterious occurrence was ''not'' BlackMagic because he knows what BlackMagic looks like and [whatever mysterious occurrence they're discussing] does not fit the signs.
** According to Father Brown ("The Miracle of Moon Crescent"), it's not belief that makes you stupid but not knowing what and why you actually believe in...
--->"Don't think I blame you for jumping to preternatural conclusions. The reason's very simple, really. You all swore you were hard-shelled materialists; and as a matter of fact you were all balanced on the very edge of belief — of belief in almost anything. There are thousands balanced on it today; but it's a sharp, uncomfortable edge to sit on. You won't rest till you believe something; that's why Mr. Vandam went through new religions with a tooth-comb, and Mr. Alboin quotes Scripture for his religion of breathing exercises, and Mr. Fenner grumbles at the very God he denies. That's where you all split; it's natural to believe in the supernatural. It never feels natural to accept only natural things."
** ...or, to put it more concisely and up to [[InvertedTrope inverting the trope]], as Father Brown does in "The Oracle of the Dog",
--->"The first effect of not believing in God, is that you lose your common sense."
* BeMyValentine: Aristide Valentin in "The Blue Cross" and "The Secret Garden."
* BeneathNotice:
** In "The Invisible Man," a man is murdered and witnesses say they saw nobody. Father Brown figures out that the murderer was a postman, and the witnesses didn't pay any attention to him.
** In "The Queer Feet", which Flambeau infiltrates a high-class party in black tie. When he's at the table, he behaves like a waiter (causing the guests to pay no attention to him), but when he's away from the table, he instead behaves like a guest (so the waiters, who are familiar with each other, don't find him out).
* BerserkButton: Father Brown has an almost saintly level of patience when it comes to just about any character flaw. However, even he has buttons that ought not be pressed. Notable instances include ''The Oracle of the Dog'' where he snaps at his friend for suggesting that a [[EvilDetectingDog dog has the ability to judge a person's character]], and in ''The Arrow of Heaven'' and ''The Chief Mourner of Marne'' where he gives an impassioned ReasonYouSuckSpeech to two different groups of people for suggesting that a murderer should be lynched and then suddenly deciding that the same murder was excusable once they discovered who the murderer actually was.
* BlueBlood: Despite GKC's very commonly expressed dislike of aristocratic systems of government, his work abounds in noblemen, both sympathetic and unsympathetic, ''e.g.'', in "The Purple Wig." Some of them are even of ''real'' aristocratic lineage, too.
* BookcasePassage: The old manor house in "The Doom of the Darnaways" has one, which Father Brown discovers after noticing that the fake books on that shelf all refer to myths and hoaxes. Lampshaded, with him feeling obliged to apologize for the fact that his solution to the mystery features such a cliché.
* ClarkKenting: Done in "The Duel of Dr Hirsch". While the trick fools almost everyone, Father Brown sees through it because it's done too well: two opposing personas, one who refused to see the other, had to be part of a masquerade.
* ChurchOfSaintGenericus: Subverted in "The Vampire of the Village", in which Father Brown realises that a purported clergyman is a fake because he shows characteristics of multiple incompatible Christian denominations.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: A character with red hair is ''almost'' always Good in Chesterton. Less frequently, blond hair is evil -- especially if the blondness looks somehow artificial ("gilded").
* {{Confessional}}: Is very often Father Brown's goal for the criminals he detects. He also claims that it is the source of his uncanny insight into the criminal mind:
-->"Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?"
* CreepyCathedral: In "The Hammer of God", though it's technically just a church. [[spoiler:Father Brown implies that it was the practice of praying at the great height and literally looking down on everybody else which made the murderer susceptible to the thoughts of his own infallibility and a right to kill -- appropriately enough, with DeathFromAbove.]]
* CriminalMindGames: "The Insoluble Problem"
* DeadPersonImpersonation:
** In one story, the murderer almost gets away by putting on a bathrobe and pretending to be the man Father Brown was trying to find.
** In another, the murderer pretends to be his victim, blatantly displays his victim's corpse (disguised as someone else's), fakes 'his' suicide, and gets away.
** In yet another, someone [[spoiler:in a duel]] pretends to die, later shoots his antagonist, and to avoid detection pretends to be that antagonist, shutting himself away out of guilt.
* DealWithTheDevil: Invoked in "The Dagger With Wings."
* DeadlyBook: "The Blast Of The Book" revolves around a book that is reported to drive anyone who reads even a few words of it to self-destruction.
* DeadpanSnarker: Father Brown, though a very kindly one.
-->"Your whole case was founded on the idea that a man looking like a young god couldn't be called [[spoiler:'Potter.']] Believe me, names are not so appropriately distributed."
* DecoyProtagonist: [[spoiler:Valentin, introduced as the protagonist in the first short story; returns as the protagonist for the second short story, and commits suicide at the end of the same story.]]
* DepthDeception: Referenced in "The Song of the Flying Fish."
* DrivenToSuicide: The murderer commits suicide rather than submit to arrest in "The Secret Garden": "...and on the blind face of the suicide was more than the pride of Cato." [[note]]Quoth Martin Gardiner in his annotated edition of the Father Brown stories, "The pride that Chesterton considers greater than Cato's is, of course, that of Satan."[[/note]]
* DuelToTheDeath: In "The Duel of Dr. Hirsch," the eponymous doctor is a party in a duel that does not quite come off.
* EurekaMoment: In "The Honour of Israel Gow", Father Brown is uncharacteristically stumped, until a chance remark by Flambeau shows him what he's overlooked.
* EveryoneIsASuspect: "The Arrow of Heaven" is a good example.
* EvilDetectingDog: Subverted in "The Oracle of the Dog".
* ExactWords:
** Father Brown suffers from this constantly, as in "The Quick One": "...I never said he was a murderer. I said he was the man we wanted."
** In "The Chief Mourner of Marne", Father Brown asks General Outram if he knows more about the history of the Marquis of Marne than he's already said. The General replies "I cannot tell you any more". Father Brown notes that this isn't the same thing, and points out the General would have no patience with a priest who equivocated like that.
* FairyTale: As in "The Fairy Tale of Father Brown."
* TheFairFolk: Invoked in "The Sins of Prince Saradine"
* FakeBrit: In-universe, Kalon in "The Eye of Apollo".
* GenteelInterbellumSetting: Reasonably enough, as all of the stories were written between 1910 and 1936.
* GentlemanThief: Flambeau is an example. Deconstructed in "The Flying Stars", in which Father Brown points out that he has left an innocent person to be blamed for the crime he committed, and persuades him that it's impossible to remain a honourable outlaw without SlowlySlippingIntoEvil.
* GlassShatteringSound: Suggested as a solution to the mystery in "The Flying Fish".
* GoodIsNotDumb: Regularly invoked by Father Brown himself.
* GoodShepherd: Father Brown, a reflection of GK Chesterton's Catholic faith, in literary form.
* GreenEyedMonster: Very common, helping to spread round the motive for murder, as in "The Man in the Passage."
* HappilyMarried: Very common in Chesterton -- no doubt reflecting his own happy marriage. One example is Flambeau and his wife in ''The Secret of Father Brown''.
* HeelFaceTurn: Flambeau, thief, repents and becomes a private detective.
* HiddenInPlainSight: Used in several stories, notably "The Invisible Man."
* HollywoodAtheist: Aristide Valentin in "The Secret Garden". [[spoiler:In the end it turns out he's not only this, but also NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist.]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: "The Miracle of Moon Crescent" has an industrialist who came across three beggars and divided them up on spontaneous analysis: one became his assistant, one became a clerk and one was put in an institution. [[spoiler:They were best friends, and were so offended by this act that they killed him in revenge.]]
* {{Hypocrite}}: As, for instance, in "The Ghost of Gideon Wise."
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: Done remarkably subtly in "The Green Man". [[spoiler:The victim, a seaman returning from the long-distance sea travel, was found dead in a pool. However, when the murderer was told that the victim had drowned, he immediately asked where the body was found -- though the logical conclusion would be that the seaman had drowned at sea and thus his body was never recovered.]]
* IdenticalGrandson: In "The Doom of the Darnaways", the newly-discovered Darnaway heir bears such a striking resemblance to an old portrait that another character suspects he's deliberately modeled his appearance on it. Father Brown [[spoiler:suspects a much simpler explanation -- it's the portrait that has been made to resemble the man]].
* IfJesusThenAliens: Defied. Father Brown is quite devout, but doesn't believe in ''anything'' supernatural at first sight, and is very quick to correct those who attempt to use this logic themselves. Multiple mysteries are mistaken for miracles, curses or what have you, and Brown is usually there to prove that they are quite mundane and staged to look supernatural. As he said in "The Miracle of Moon Crescent",
-->"Yes," answered Father Brown, "I believe in miracles. I believe in man-eating tigers, but I don't see them running about everywhere. If I want any miracles, I know where to get them."
* ImpoverishedPatrician: In "The Doom of the Darnaways", the Darnaways are an aristocratic family of ancient lineage reduced to living in the still-habitable portions of a half-ruined house.
* InMediasRes: "The Eye of Apollo," which begins with Father Brown confronting Kalon before the reader even knows a murder has happened.
* InterdisciplinarySleuth: Father Brown is, as the name would imply, a priest.
* IntrepidReporter: Not a positive example. He observed Father Brown helping a woman run from an ugly man with a handsome one and, assuming it's a typical UglyGuyHotWife scenario, immediately sent a story about how a priest broke a sacred marriage, ruining his reputation. [[spoiler:The ugly one was the lover.]]
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: [[spoiler:Detective Valentin.]] In his first appearance, in "[[spoiler:The Blue Cross]]", he's an atheist but comes to respect Father Brown's intellect. The story appears to set him up to be TheWatson in future stories. In his second appearance, in "[[spoiler:The Secret Garden]]", he's the murderer: his raging atheism makes him kill to prevent a large donation to the Church. And he commits suicide, rather than submitting to arrest.
* KarmaHoudini: An unusual variation: Father Brown lets criminals go off rather easily, even though some have done terrible deeds. He leaves justice to Heaven rather than human law, and believes that sinners can never be really happy with their deeds and deserve to be saved rather than punished.
* LargeHam: The prosecutor in "The Mirror of the Magistrate". [[spoiler:Father Brown lampshades that being a murderer, he has good reason to rant about executing an innocent man]].
--> "Yes," he cried in a vibrating voice, "my learned friend is perfectly right! We do not know the exact reason why this honourable public servant was murdered. We shall not know the reason why the next public servant is murdered. If my learned friend himself falls a victim to his eminence, and the hatred which the hellish powers of destruction feel for the guardians of law, he will be murdered, and he will not know the reason. Half the decent people in this court will be butchered in their beds, and we shall not know the reason. And we shall never know the reason and never arrest the massacre, until it has depopulated our country, so long as the defence is permitted to stop all proceedings with this stale tag about 'motive,' when every other fact in the case, every glaring incongruity, every gaping silence, tells us that we stand in the presence of Cain."
* LastRequest: In the second story, it's because Father Brown got one at a deathbed that he's in the place where he deduces the crime.
* LetOffByTheDetective: Flambeau, most notably, which precipitates his HeelFaceTurn. But it happens often, because Father Brown, as a priest, is much more interested in confession and repentance than in punishment.
* LiteralMinded: The probably-autistic title character in "The Honour of Israel Gow". The various bizarre and apparently sinister events of the story turn out to be because of Gow's literal and scrupulously honest interpretation of his equally-eccentric dead employer's dying wish for Gow to inherit all his gold -- which Gow interpreted as "every scrap of gold in the house ''and nothing else''".
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed.]] It is mentioned in "The Resurrection of Father Brown" that an American journalist Saul Snaith arranged for publishing "a series of stories, like the stories of [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Sherlock Holmes]]" about Father Brown; however, it isn't exactly clear if they have anything to do with the actual stories we're reading.
* MaliciousSlander: Father Brown was a victim of this in "Scandal".
* MistakenForServant: Used in at least two of the stories, "The Queer Feet" and "The Strange Crime of John Boulnois."
* Main/{{Mondegreen}}: In "The Absence of Mr. Glass", [[spoiler:Mr. Glass does not exist. What Todhunter, a stage magician in training, really said (while practicing juggling) was, "...Two, three--Missed a glass."]]
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Discussed [[InUniverse in-universe]] in "The Sign of the Broken Sword". Being a greedy and corrupted traitor? Not okay. Killing the one who found out about that? Real bad. ''[[spoiler:[[UriahGambit Leading the whole regiment in a pointlessly suicidal attack]] so that the deceased would be lost in a field of corpses]]?'' There we go.
** Deconstructed in "The Chief Mourner of Marne": while the other characters are insisting that a character's crime -- [[spoiler:PlayingPossum in a duel in order to murder his own brother]] -- is absolutely unforgivable, Father Brown reminds them that from a Christian point of view there is no such thing as an unforgivable crime.
* NeedleInAStackOfNeedles: "The Sign of the Broken Sword":
-->Where would a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. If there were no forest, he would make a forest. And if he wished to hide a dead leaf, he would make a dead forest.
* NiceToTheWaiter:
** "The Actor and the Alibi".
** Used in a much lighter fashion in "The Blast of the Book".
* NeverSuicide: Subverted in "The Three Tools of Death" when [[spoiler:Sir Aaron Armstrong commits suicide and everyone thinks it's murder.]]
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Father Brown appears to be a simple, not-too-bright parish priest at first glance, and sometimes plays this up to get criminals to drop their guard around him.
* OffWithHisHead: "The Secret Garden".
* PathOfInspiration: "The Eye of Apollo".
* PepperSneeze: In "The Salad of Colonel Cray":
** A key clue to the mystery is some unexplained sneezes heard near the scene of the crime. It is eventually explained that the criminal sneezed when throwing away to the dustbin the pepper that could have been used to counter the action of the poison he was planning to use.
** Also the explanation for why the assailant ''sneezed'' when shot at. [[spoiler:[[PocketProtector The pepper pot in his pocket stopped the bullet]].]]
* PoliceAreUseless: A police detective complains about this trope in one story. He points out that while the police may not be as intuitively brilliant as the average fictional detective, they are not even shown as having the virtues they do have such as storing and sharing information.
* PreemptiveApology: Used by Father Brown in "The Blue Cross".
--> '''Waiter:''' The parson at the door he says all serene, 'Sorry to confuse your accounts, but it'll pay for the window.' 'What window?' I says. 'The one I'm going to break,' he says, and smashed that blessed pane with his umbrella.
* PullARabbitOutOfMyHat: In "The Absence of Mr. Glass."
* RealityEnsues: Pauline Stacey's refusal to acknowledge [[spoiler:her vision loss]] and commitment to Kalon's Church of Apollo, which has a rite of staring directly into the sun, [[spoiler:causes her to go blind.]]
* RevealingCoverup
* TheRoaringTwenties: The stories in ''Incredulity'' covering Father Brown's visit to the United States tend this way (with, for instance, several mentions of Prohibition, all of them in the context of it being flouted).
* RoyalBlood: In "The Sins of Prince Saradine."
* {{Ruritania}}: In "The Fairy Tale of Father Brown" there is the Teutonic "city and state of Heiligwaldenstein."
* SarcasticConfession: As in "The Worst Crime in the World."
* SatchelSwitcheroo: Used ''twice'' in "The Blue Cross".
* ScoobyDooHoax: Almost all the stories seems to invoke supernatural elements, only for Father Brown to discover that they have perfectly mundane solutions, see BeliefMakesYouStupid and IfJesusThenAliens.
* SeenItAll: The vast (even shocking) experience of GKC's friend Father John O'Connor so impressed him that he fictionalized the priest in the form of Father Brown, whose first story, "The Blue Cross," is based upon this trope.
* SerialKillingsSpecificTarget: One of the earliest examples (though the disguise is an intentionally provoked military battle rather than a serial killing) is "The Sign of the Broken Sword" (1911). In Father Brown's own words:
-->'''Father Brown:''' Where would a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. If there were no forest, he would make a forest. And if he wished to hide a dead leaf, he would make a dead forest. And if a man had to hide a dead body, he would make a field of dead bodies to hide it in.
* SherlockScan:
** Subverted in "The Absence of Mr Glass", in which some characters involve a brilliant criminologist in a domestic case, where he concludes with a sinister and dramatic interpretation of some facts. [[spoiler:Dramatic and totally false. The apparent killer is only a stage magician, so that the cards, the knives, the swords and the mysteriously large top hat have a very simple explanation]]. At the end of the tale, everyone (including the criminologist) is laughing.
** In "The Honour of Israel Gow", the Father is asked to perform a scan on a odd set of trinkets left behind on the scene and produces six equally plausible but all mutually contradictory stories explaining their presence -- none of which turns out to be correct.
* SillyRabbitRomanceIsForKids: At least, it's not for movie stars on their fifth marriages.
* SilverBullet: In "The Dagger With Wings".
* SpannerInTheWorks: Joan Stacey in "The Eye of Apollo" is this to [[spoiler:Kalon's scheme to kill her older sister Pauline for her inheritance. Pauline was blind, and Joan filled her fountain pens with ink for her. However, she left a pen un-filled for Pauline to write her will (which would have left everything to Kalon) with. The pen ran out before the will could be finished, meaning that Kalon got nothing.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Pfarrer Braun''.
* StageMagician: In "The Absence of Mr Glass".
* StepfordSmiler: Aaron Armstrong being this is the whole point of "Three Tools of Death". Discussed InUniverse by Father Brown: "Why couldn't they let him weep a little, like his fathers before him? His plans stiffened, his views grew cold; behind that merry mask was the empty mind of the atheist." [[spoiler:He committed suicide.]]
* SuddenSequelHeelSyndrome: Aristide Valentin in "The Secret Garden".
* SuicideNotMurder: Chesterton was most probably a TropeMaker.
** The solution of [[spoiler:"The Three Tools of Death"]]. Unusually, the appearance of murder was by chance and not by malicious intent on the part of the dead person.
** Used again in [[spoiler:"The Strange Crime of John Boulnois"]], although in that case the suicidal person was intentionally trying to frame someone else.
* TakeThat: A good one for the scientists in "The Fairy Tale of Father Brown":
--> The deputation of distinguished geologists and mineralogists from Paris and Berlin were there in the most magnificent and appropriate dress, for there are no men who like wearing their decorations so much as the men of science -- as anybody knows who has ever been to a soiree of the Royal Society.
* ThatsWhatIWouldDo
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: In "The Sign of the Broken Sword".
* TheReveal: One of the bases of MysteryFiction, of course.
* TheUnfairSex: Provides a blind in "The Oracle of the Dog."
* TheUriahGambit:
** In [[spoiler:"The Sign of the Broken Sword."]]
** Also a more unconventional version in "The Fairy Tale Of Father Brown". The greedy and paranoid EvilOverlord sneaks away in the dead of night to visit a local monk whom he suspects knows the location of a gold mine. The monk, who is the last of three brothers who led a successful [[LaResistance resistance]] for some time, jumps the EvilOverlord and gags him with his own military sash, causing said Overlord to be shot by his own troops when he can't answer the challenge.
* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Alluded to in "The Oracle of the Dog" -- "With your Citizen Riquetti you have puzzled Europe for ten days." Father Brown is referring to the infamous Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Count of Mirabeau, who abandoned his noble titles to become a leader in the French Revolution (thus became just plain Citizen Riqueti). [[spoiler: He's alluding to the fact that one of the characters involved in the mystery is a French nobleman who abandoned his title and is just using his ordinary surname]]
* ToKnowHimIMustBecomeHim: Father Brown explains that this is his method for crime-solving in ''The Secret of Father Brown''. (See also ThatsWhatIWouldDo.)
* TomatoInTheMirror: "The Man in the Passage". [[spoiler:The mysterious figure glimpsed in the passage at the time of the murder was the witness's own reflection.]]
* UglyGuyHotWife: Deconstructed in "The Scandal of Father Brown". Father Brown points out that a rich, beautiful girl who has always gotten whatever she wanted is not likely to have married an ugly old man: she'd have no reason to.
* UnfriendlyFire: The story "[[spoiler:The Sign of the Broken Sword]]"
* TheVicar: Invoked in-story by an impostor in "The Vampire of the Village". Only the Catholic Father Brown sees through him, since "the English know nothing about the Church of England."
* TheWatson:
** Subverted with Valentin, who bows to Father Brown's intellect in "The Blue Cross", but then [[spoiler:goes full-on NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist and then takes his own life]] in "The Secret Garden".
** Played straight with Flambeau in many later stories.
* WhamLine:
** In "The Blue Cross", Valentin believes he has gone on a wild goose chase after two harmless, theology-debating clerics and is ready to creep away, when one of them says:
---> "On plains of opal, under cliffs cut out of pearl, you would still find a notice-board, ''Thou shalt not steal.''"
** In the third story, "Queer Feet". "I'm a priest, [[spoiler:Monsieur Flambeau]], and I'm ready to hear your confession."
** In "The Chief Mourner of Marne": [[spoiler:"It isn't Jim at all. It's Maurice!"]]
* WhiteMagic: Invoked, and debunked, in "The Dagger with Wings" -- and re-invoked.
* WhodunnitToMe: In "The Resurrection of Father Brown."
* TheWickedStage: In one of the stories, Father Brown realizes that an alleged High Church Anglican is a fake when his poses are inconsistent; for instance, he's severe about acting, which is rather more Low Church.
* WriterOnBoard: Father Brown is a fairly accurate mouthpiece for Chesterton's views.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: The Purple Wig.
* YouJustToldMe: In "The Arrow of Heaven", Father Brown talks to three people and gets them to explain how they could have committed a murder. [[spoiler:He uses this to justify their innocence, because had they actually killed someone they'd be wary and tense about revealing their knowledge, even if they could act natural about it.]]
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