Father Brown is a fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur sleuth created in the early 20th century by English novelist G. K. Chesterton. Father Brown is featured in a series of 53 short stories where he solves mysteries and crimes using his intuition and keen understanding of human nature.
The character was loosely based by Chesterton on The Rt Rev. John Monsignor O'Connor (1870–1952), a parish priest in Bradford, who was involved in Chesterton's conversion to Catholicism in 1922. Chesterton portrays Father Brown as a short, stumpy Roman Catholic priest, with shapeless clothes, a large umbrella, and an uncanny insight into human evil. In "The Head of Caesar" he is "formerly priest of Cobhole in Essex, and now working in London".
He makes his first appearance in the story "The Blue Cross" and continues to appear throughout forty-eight short stories in five volumes, with two more stories discovered and published posthumously, often assisted in his crime-solving by the reformed criminal M. Hercule Flambeau. Father Brown also appears in a third story — making a total of fifty-one — that did not appear in the five volumes published in Chesterton's lifetime, "The Donnington Affair", which has a curious history. In the October 1914 issue of an obscure magazine, The Premier, Sir Max Pemberton published the first part of the story, then invited a number of detective story writers, including Chesterton, to use their talents to solve the mystery of the murder described. Chesterton and Father Brown's solution followed in the November issue. The story was first reprinted in the Chesterton Review (Winter), 1981, pp. 1–35 in the book Thirteen Detectives. Unlike the better-known fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown's methods tend to be intuitive rather than deductive.