Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A blog for PIs and writers/readers of the PI genre

  • Writing a Sleuth?

    A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths

    "How to Write a Dick is the best work of its kind I’ve ever come across because it covers the whole spectrum in an entertaining style that will appeal to layman and lawmen alike."

    Available on Kindle

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A Slew of Sleuth Articles

Posted by Writing PIs on December 3, 2009

First, a freebie: To win a free registration for “Trials 101” post a comment by December 12 (winner’s name to be picked December 13).  To read more about the class, go to end of this post *

Investigative Articles

Below are some of our current articles–handy tips for both real-life PIs and writers writing their fictional counterparts. 

How to Start a Private Investigations Business:

Protecting Yourself Online:        

When Does Surveillance Become Stalking? 

How to Protect Your Cell Phone from Spyware: 

How to Quickly Interpret Another’s Language via a Telephone:


* December 14-21, 2009: Online Class “Trials 101”

Writing a story with a courtroom scene and need to add some realistic touches? Or perhaps you’re fleshing out a trial attorney, or maybe just want a handle on a few terms for when your protagonist makes a court appearance? This class is an introduction to trials (U.S. legal system), outlining the key players in the courtroom, the history of trials, a few reasons why trials happen (as well as some wrong reasons trials happen, which could provide great story conflict), and ends with several examples of outstanding trials in books and movies. One week, 2 classes, questions answered by email in-between. 

Instructor Bios

Shaun Kaufman has worked in and around the criminal justice field for nearly 25 years, as a former trial attorney and a current legal investigator. He’s published articles in PI magazine, the Denver Law Review, and authored numerous briefs for the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Shaun is a popular speaker at conferences, entertaining and educating writers with his insights and expertise about investigations, crime scenes, how PIs effectively testify in trials, and more. His father always told him to be a writer, not a lawyer.

Colleen Collins is a PI by day, a multi-published author by night. Her articles on private investigations have appeared on various sites on the Internet as well as in PI Magazine, Pursuit Magazine, NINK (Novelists, Inc.), and other publications.  A member of the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she’s written 20 novels, and has spoken at regional and national writers conferences about writing private eyes in fiction.

Trials 101 registration:


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