Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

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

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Posts Tagged ‘books’

Denver’s Nick and Nora: Real-Life Private Eyes in the News

Posted by Writing PIs on September 1, 2011

You know us as the Writing PIs. In this week’s Westword, Denver’s weekly independent newspaper, we’re also “these married Denver detectives” in the paper’s cover story:

That cover is pretty cool (see above). They made it look like a beat-up dime novel with a tough, noir-ish private eye in a fedora and trenchcoat, holding a gun. The top right “page” corner is folded over, like you’re keeping your place in the paperback story. The reporter, Melanie Asmar, met with us between three and four times for interviews…toward the end she told us of her vision for the story (layering a writer’s PI story, based on one of our cases with us as the story’s protagonists, with interviews with us). She did a fantastic job.

To read about our cases, how we became PIs, and more than you probably ever wanted to know about a couple of married Denver detectives, click on the below link:

Westword: The Plot Thickens

Have a great week, Writing PIs AKA Denver’s Nick and Nora

Posted in Westword: The Plot Thickens | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Answering Writers’ Questions About Surveillance and Law Enforcement & PIs Working Together

Posted by Writing PIs on July 6, 2009

To all those who celebrate the 4th, hope you had a great one!

It’s nearly July 6, next to the last day of Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes virtual open house. Everyone who comments July 1-July 7 is eligible for gifts, from books to T-shirts to a book-safe-storage (see picture of one in July 1 post).  Winners names to be picked July 8!

bullFor those keeping track, I’m now “outta the wild” (see last post).  Lost cell transmission for hours (and hours) which concerned Shaun to the point that he contacted the sheriff’s office of the region I was in.  Before I’d left “into the wild” on this rural surveillance, I’d had a lengthy meeting with several of the sheriffs for that region…however, when Shaun called their office, he got someone new and they said they’d never heard of me.  One of those small-town mis-communications, funny in retrospect, although it wasn’t very funny to Shaun at the time (hence Grumpy, grumpywhich is how Shaun got). For those writing sleuth tales, think of the ramifications of such a disconnect in your own stories.

Meanwhile, we thought it’d be interesting to post some more recent writers’ questions about PIs, from a client “riding along” on a surveillance to whether law enforcement and PIs ever work together. 

WRITER’S QUESTION:  I’ve heard it’s illegal for a client to ride along on a surveillance with a PI in some states. How would we know which states it is illegal in? I’m sure there will be other things that come up that vary from state to state?  Should we call a PI from our state to ask?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES ANSWER: Calling a PI in your state is a good resource. If you are in a state where PIs are licensed, contact the licensing authority for guidance on these  matters (typically this licensing authority will be within the state dept.  of regulatory agencies or the state police).

WRITER’S QUESTION: Do police hire PIs for help?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES ANSWER: More likely, the police would cooperate with PIs on a case (although this isn’t common, it’s certainly occurred. For example, a few years ago, the NY police cooperated with local PIs to break a theft ring in the garment district). A key reason the police wouldn’t hire (versus cooperate w/) PIs is that by their employing a private citizen (such as a PI), the police lose “the color of government authority” including the ability to obtain warrants, rely on rules for search/seizure (such as the fellow officer rule), and finally the law enforcement agency concerned does not want the liability of a contract employee who is more than likely carrying a weapon and who very well may not carry enough insurance.

Saying all this, it’s plausible that a government agency other than a law-enforcement agency might hire a PI to do an independent investigation. Here in Colorado, a county commissioner office hired a Denver PI to conduct an investigation of sexual harrassment and financial misappropriation by an elected county official, who could not have been independently investigated by the sheriff’s office for that county (because of the close ties between the 2
offices, both elected offices).

Post a comment/questions, and we’ll be happy to answer.  Next post will be July 8 with the “virtual open house” winners’ names, so stay tuned…

Posted in Writing About PIs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments »

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