I recently read this article about common mistakes/misconceptions about private detective work in crime fiction on Thrilling Detective, by Colleen Collins (nice alliteration there, great name for a fictitious character), who is a real life private investigator. This lead me to this blog, which gives loads of information about real life private investigation. She also wrote a book about how to write a convincing, believable, realistic yet fictitious private eye.
I spent lot of time reading the blog. I might buy Collins's book. Just like real crime literature, I find real investigation (even of the not criminal kind) utterly fascinating. Fascinating is a word use often here, I should also say to give it justice that I kind it educational and useful. I am working on some crime fiction myself (yes, seriously) and I think in crime fiction, a healthy dose of realism, at least in the background, is not only necessary, it is essential. The genre has been grounded, took roots into realism. Yes, the private eye investigating murder, or indeed criminal matters, is indeed pure fantasy and I know the profession is not nearly as glamorous. But to make this fantasy believable, one needs to balance it with some realism and believability.