(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Despite the fame of G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown short stories, few full-length novels featuring clerical sleuths had appeared before 1959, the year of publication of Leonard Holton’s first Father Bredder mystery. Since then, other series have made clergyman-detectives an important part of the mystery scene. Holton’s series is well plotted, and the interplay between Lieutenant Minardi with his procedural approach and Father Bredder with his moral and deductive approach lends plausibility, interest, and humor to the tales. The large number of recurring characters adds much to the series as the reader becomes familiar with Father Bredder’s world.

Leonard Holton Bibliography

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Breen, Jon L., and Martin H. Greenberg, eds. Synod of Sleuths: Essays on Judeo-Christian Detective Fiction. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1990. Discusses important Jewish and Christian religious figures in detective fiction; sheds light on Holton’s writings.

Erb, Peter C. Murder, Manners, and Mystery: Reflections on Faith in Contemporary Detective Fiction—The John Albert Hall Lectures, 2004. London: SCM Press, 2007. Collected lectures on the role and representation of religion in detective fiction; provides perspective on Holton’s work.

Kerr, Peter. “Leonard Wibberley, Sixty-eight, Dies: Wrote Mouse that Roared.” New York Times, November 25, 1983, p. D21. Obituary of Holton (under his real name) describes his history and career.

Penzler, Otto, ed. The Great Detectives. Boston: Little, Brown, 1978. Argues for the place of Father Bredder in the pantheon of great literary detectives.

Steinbrunner, Chris, and Otto Penzler, eds. Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976. Useful entry on Holton and his characters, delving into the innovative nature of his work.