I would skip the introduction! Whoever wrote it provides the name of the narrator, which kept me guessing as I did not come across his surmane until well into the third story and his given name until much later. It is too bad that the publisher included an introduction that gives away the intended suprise at the end of the last story. An afterwood would have been more appropriate.
The book (written in 1905) is an interesting set of stories, separate in themselves, yet linked. While some are centered around a self-made detective, he is no Sherlock Holmes. It is his brotherthe ex-judgewho appears to be the solver of all the mysteries. The narrator, although integral to each story, is little more than a bystander: no Dr. Watson either. In some ways it is reminiscent of Stevenson's "The Suicide Club" (written in 1882).
An interesting book with illustrations from G.K. Chesterton himself, featuring vignettes of a series of encounters with some folks who have highly unusual ways of making a living.
Classic mystery from famous author of early 20th century. Chesterton was a friend of C. S. Lewis. Unlike todays mysteries which adds to its interest greatly.