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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Archive for the ‘Sleuth Gifts’ Category

The Drug Smuggler Who Wore Gucci

Posted by Writing PIs on August 28, 2014

Today Guns, Gams and Gumshoes’s Colleen is the guest at mystery writer Lois Winston’s blog. Below is an excerpt from Colleen’s article about a high-style drug smuggler with a link to the full article at the end.

The Felonious Fashionista

by Colleen Collins

fedora on woman black and white

My husband and I ran a private investigations agency for a decade, which has since morphed into his criminal law practice where I’m his part-time P.I. Or as I  call myself, his “live-in P.I.”

Occasionally, we’ve had clients give us thank-you gifts for handling their cases, from Starbucks cards to homemade tamales. But the most surprising gift offer was from a client who committed crimes in the high style she also liked to wear.  For this article, I’ll call her the felonious fashionista.

How We Met the Felonious Fashionista

A case came into our office a few years ago, where a man said his sister had been arrested on drug charges, and could our law firm handle her case? We get similar calls every month or so, usually for someone who’s been busted for recreational amounts of illicit drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, Oxycontin. When we asked the particulars of his sister’s charges, he said, “She had ten pounds of heroin packed in the air cleaner of the Mercedes she was driving, and fifty pounds of marijuana in the luggage carrier on top of the car.”

Our jaws dropped.

“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.”
– Oscar de la Renta

Because we were hired quickly after the fashionista had fired another lawyer, we didn’t meet her until her second appearance in court. Imagine our surprise when a Sofia Vergara clone sashayed into the courthouse as if she were prowling a catwalk. She wore insanely high heels, a silk blouse and a front-split skirt that flashed glimpses of her tan, toned thighs. Later we learned she had been a fashion model in a European country.

Other lawyers in the hallway looked like a tableau, frozen as they stared in awe at this beautiful woman, their looks turning to surprise and curiosity as she greeted us warmly. As the three of us walked into the courtroom, she glanced at my husband’s green nylon briefcase decorated with several ink smudges, then at my purse, which is more like an oversized messenger bag as I cram everything into it, from books to my computer.

After the hearing, she took us aside and said she wanted to gift us both with designer luggage briefcases as ours were in serious need of an “upgrade.” Did we like Saint Laurent? Gucci?

“We like REI,” my husband quipped.

That evening, I found him looking up Gucci briefcases on the internet.

Let’s pause a moment and discuss what this drug smuggler gained from her fashionista ways.

To read the full article click here.

Other Recent Articles

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A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers: Types of Lawyers – Criminal Law (Colleen Collins Books)

woman looking thru mag glass black and white2

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Any use of the content (including images owned by Colleen Collins and/or Shaun Kaufman) requires specific, written authority. Any violations of this reservation will result in legal action.

Posted in The Felonious Fashionista | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on The Drug Smuggler Who Wore Gucci

A Couple of Non-Fiction Books for the Sleuth-Writer in Your Life

Posted by Writing PIs on December 16, 2011

Maybe you know someone writing a story featuring a private eye, or someone who’s a PI-genre fan, or someone who’s intrigued about the world of private investigators. Hey, maybe that person is you. Below are two books by Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes’s private investigators about the real world of private investigations. Below that are a few links to some recent articles about private investigations for your reading pleasure.

How to Write a Dick: A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths

Geared mostly to writers writing sleuths, with plenty of info for those wanting to read more about the real-life world of whodunits. Topics include a history of private investigators, a sampling of private investigative specializations (from legal investigations to pet detectives to investigating white-collar crime), the ins and outs of a private investigator’s business (from licensing to marketing), homicide investigations, a DNA Primer and a “Gumshoe Glossary.”

“If you want authenticity in creating a fictional private investigator for your stories, then this is a must-have reference book. Its authors, Colleen and Shaun, are living breathing PIs with years of actual experience in the PI game.” ~ R.T. Lawton, 25 years on the street as a federal special agent and author of 4 series in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

“How to Write a Dick is a gift to crime fiction authors everywhere, a comprehensive and no-nonsense compendium of information, analysis and thought-provoking writing prompts that will help you create your own 21st century shamus with confidence and class. An absolute must for the library of any PI writer!” ~ Kelli Stanley, critically acclaimed author of City of Dragons and the Miranda Corbie series

To order How to Write a Dick

How to Write a Dick is an eBook, but you don’t need an ereader. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble provide free apps that are easy to download onto your laptop, desktop, other device.  Want to give as a gift? All you need is the person’s email address.

How to Write a Dick on Kindle

How Do Private Eyes Do That?

Geared to the armchair sleuth, with plenty of info for writers, investigators, and others interested in the techniques and tools of today’s private investigators. Dozens of articles about private investigations on such topics as how to catch a cheater, techniques for finding people, how to locate a cell phone number, tips for locating a family trust, email security tips, how to unblock incoming blocked phone numbers, intellectual property investigations, the art of interviewing witnesses, listening devices, sleuth gadgets…we’re running out of breath, here…online research tips, how to search for people on YouTube, case examples, a listing (plus links) of several dozen private investigator blogs and PI-genre writers…and a whole lot more.

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

To order How Do Private Eyes Do That?

Same as above — you don’t need an ereader to download this book. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble make it easy (and free) to download an app onto your PC/Mac/other device to read this book. If you want to send it as a gift, all you need is the person’s email address.

How Do Private Eyes Do That? on Kindle


Posted in Nonfiction book: HOW DO PRIVATE EYES DO THAT?, PI Topics, Sleuth Gifts, Writing About PIs | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Couple of Non-Fiction Books for the Sleuth-Writer in Your Life

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