Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye. This new book by Colleen Collins is a superb blend of serious writing, equipment description, a listing of what not to do including wardrobe suggestions, and of course … personal stories.
The book starts with the history of the female private investigators. I was pleased to see my ultimate Jane Bond represented in Colleen’s listing: Emma Peel! If you do not know what I am talking about, check this link and read up on the Avengers. I missed Jessica Fletcher in Colleen’s line-up though. Not a real PI but definitely on par with Maddie Hayes.
Colleen describes how the business got started. Not only do you get an overview of how she runs it, she explains the materials and equipment they purchased. I love the list of equipment that turned out to be a waste of time and money. All this gives you a good idea of what a PI might carry in their bag, car, and on their person.
All difficult aspects of being a PI are discussed and of course, the great stories that will make you laugh. From stopping a pit bull attack to golf car surveillance, her colourful life will make you smile. But all laughs aside, Colleen also honestly discusses the drawbacks of being a woman PI, the dangers involved and how she dealt with them.
This book is a great source of information for those wishing to become a PI. However, authors can pick up a lot of tips to make their sleuthing characters more believable and pick up tips about the work of a PI. How it is done and why it matters, Colleen’s book has it all. The first three chapters read as a historical overview. After chapter 4, the book’s chapters can be read as a stand alone.
One thing I missed when Colleen described what it takes to be a PI and to work in a PI-team: a poker face. Just read the story when Colleen goes to a pole dancing class …