How Do Private Eyes Do That? is a compilation of articles about private investigations written by Colleen Collins, a professional private investigator. Its topics are geared to readers interested in the world of PIs, including fiction writers, researchers, investigators and those simply curious about the profession.
A supplement to the book is a chapter from How to Write a Dick: A Guide to Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths, co-authored by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. This chapter describes numerous specializations in the field of private investigations, including legal investigations, infidelity investigations, pet detection, insurance investigations, personal injury investigations, executive protection and more.
From the reviewers:
“If you’re looking for the lowdown on private investigations, this is it. Packed with details and insights. A must-have for anybody writing private-eye fiction and for anybody who’s curious about what being a private-eye is really like.” – Bill Crider, author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series and many other novels in multiple genres
“A must have for any writer serious about crafting authentic private eyes. Collins knows her stuff.” – Lori Wilde, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
I’ve also checked out the other book (How to Write a Dick), and wanted to know how this author, a PI like myself, did writing about the field. Liked the book more than I thought I would. She outlines investigative techniques which are useful for the public without compromising the field itself. Writing style is smooth. I’ve read articles written by other private investigators which are tough to understand because the person rambles on and on…in this book, Collins sticks to the topic and explains things well. – “PI Guy”
Because I found the other nonfiction book by this author (which she co-wrote with Shaun Kaufman) “How to Write a Dick” great as a reference book for writing, I hoped “How Do Private Eyes Do That?” would be as helpful. It’s not a how to book in the strictest sense, but the articles provide lots of tips about private investigations (like finding someone’s cell phone number, researching a family trust, finding people — the kinds of things a writer might want their character to do in a story). There’s also a section of links to other helpful sites about private investigations. Two thumbs up! – DanaB
Now That You Have the Facts, Get the Story
Just as washed-up criminal defense attorney, life-long Deadhead (nickname “The Zen Man”), and current PI Rick Levine decides to get relicensed as a lawyer, he’s charged with killing one and ends up in the slammer with a half-mil bail.
Released on bond, Rick and his girlfriend Laura have 30 days to find the real killer. In the course of their investigations, they dig for dirt among Denver’s shady legal backrooms to its tony corporate centers. Dodging bullets, a kidnapping, trumped-up charges and the FBI’s unwanted intervention, Rick and Laura continue tracking key suspects who have motive…eventually learning that true redemption begins at home.
From the reviewers:
“Move over Sam Spade, Nick and Nora; make room for a Denver who-dun-it, Colleen Collins’s The Zen Man. Brilliant and fast-paced writing. I couldn’t put it down.” — Donnell Ann Bell, Award-Winning Author of The Past Came Hunting
“Not only do the pages fly by with the action and plot twists, but the characters will keep you guessing their next move as well. I was thoroughly entertained and can’t wait to read the next installment of this fabulous gumshoe novel!” — Wendy Hines, Minding Spot book reviews
“I loved every single word of The Zen Man!” — Delores Fossen, USA Today Best-selling Author
“Rick and Laura are incredibly charming and likable…and the book’s mystery is well structured with clues and red herrings doled out steadily to move the plot along and keep things interesting… can’t wait for the return of The Zen Man.” –Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
“The Zen Man is an homage and update of Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles, a well-paced mix of banter, action, and New Age philosophizing.” — Gerald So, owner-moderator of DetecToday for fans of the private eye genre.
After graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara, Colleen worked as a film production assistant, improv comic, telecommunications manager at the RAND Corporation, technical writer/editor, speech writer, and private investigator. All these experiences play into her writing.
She’s a member of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Private Eye Writers of America (PWA), Sisters in Crime and Novelists, Inc. (NINC).
When not sleuthing, Colleen’s hanging with her two Rottweilers (named Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin), working on a time-traveling PI series, and envisioning how Nick and Nora would behave in the 21st century.
And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of How Do Private Eyes Do That? by Colleen Collins: