Publisher: Cassell & Co
Released: January 1, 1922
A prolific and popular writer, G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) is best known as the creator of detective-priest Father Brown (even though Chesterton's mystery stories constitute only a small fraction of his writings). The eight adventures in this classic British mystery trace the activities of Horne Fisher, the man who knew too much, and his trusted friend Harold March. Although Horne's keen mind and powerful deductive gifts make him a natural sleuth, his inquiries have a way of developing moral complications. Notable for their wit and sense of wonder, these tales offer an evocative portrait of upper-crust society in pre–World War I England.
The Man Who Knew Too Much is a collection of short stories revolving around… well, the man who knew too much, Horne Fisher. The stories are short murder mysteries in which Mr. Fisher figures out what has happened. The murders are all of a political nature, and much of the time Horne comes to the solution by knowing more than he would like to know about many things, including the many shady aspects of British politics and politicians. Much of the time the true nature of the crime has to be concealed from the public, for the good of themselves and the country they live in. The short stories themselves aren’t exceptional, but serve as platforms used by G. K. Chesterton to express thoughts, opinions, and general musings about society, politicians, “the greater good”, and so on. While I found some of the stories to be very entertaining in their own right, others started feeling a bit like fairy-tales constructed for the sake of the moral they convey. Nevertheless, while I would have liked to be more gripped by the stories, the many interesting one liners, thoughts, and quotable phrases are, by themselves, reason enough to pick up this book.