Early Eyes

Historical and Literary Influences on the Genre Trying to pinpoint the first fictional "private detective" (never mind the first "private eye") is pretty much like nailing two pieces of jello together... during an earthquake. Nonetheless, all the following usual (and maybe occasionally unusual) suspects contributed to the development of the private eye as we now … Continue reading Early Eyes

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Private Detectives & Other Miscreants)

We can go around and around all night about who the first fictional "private detective" was, but most of us, I think, will agree that Sherlock Holmes was the first significant fictional detective -- his 1887 debut was a literary shot heard 'round the world that still reverberates over a hundred and thirty years later. … Continue reading The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Private Detectives & Other Miscreants)

Charlie Siringo

(1855 – 1928) A lot of folks have tried to trace the private eye, as we understand it, to the American cowboy myth. While I think it actually goes back further than that, you could certainly make a case if you consider American lawman, detective and bounty hunter, CHARLIE SIRINGO. He's a fascinating character, a real-life frontier … Continue reading Charlie Siringo

Allan J. Pinkerton and the Pinkerton Detective Agency

  To say that Allan J. Pinkerton (1819-1884) lead a colorful life is a little bit of an understatement. In his long and varied career he was called a traitor and a patriot, an outlaw and a police officer, a thug and an idealist, a left-leaning political activist fighting for the plight of the workers and … Continue reading Allan J. Pinkerton and the Pinkerton Detective Agency

This Day in P.I. History

Births, deaths, anniversaries, celebrations and other reasons to celebrate. This is an on-going project, a compilation of dates, anniversaries and holidays of historical interest to readers of this site, that I'm hoping will be updated frequently. Don't be shy -- please tell me what I'm missing... JANUARY JANUARY 1 Novelist and screenwriter Ernest B. Tidyman, the … Continue reading This Day in P.I. History