Robert Amiss Ruth D Edwards. Jonathan Argyll Iain Pears. Consultant psychiatrist at the Home Office.
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Theodora Braithwaite D M Greenwood. Nell Bray Gillian Linscott. Miles Bredon Ronald Knox. Investigator Indescribable Life Insurance Co. Father Brown G K Chesterton. Keith Calder Gerald Hammond. Albert Campion Margery Allingham.
Gentleman of leisure possibly of royal blood. Melissa Craig Betty Rowlands. Auguste Didier Amy Myers. Montague Egg D L Sayers. Gervase Fen Edmund Crispin. Flash the Alsatian John W Bobin. Reginald Fortune H C Bailey. Antony Gillingham A A Milne. Lindsay Gordon Val McDermid. Francis Hancock Barbara Nadel. Koppelman is not alone. Some law enforcers say they are thankful for their efforts, yet in a few cases, self-appointed sleuths have veered close to vigilantism.
Websleuths is far from the only example of a community of internet detectives. Sites like these helped pave the way for the launch in of NamUs. It allows anyone to search for and contribute to open cases. One Reddit user, Wesside, who did not wish to be identified by his real name, frequently contributes to the RBI page. When a truck driver was forced off the road by another truck in Ontario, Canada, during winter conditions, Wesside was able to quickly identify the trailer number of the offending truck by enhancing and analysing video footage of the incident posted to RBI.
Some mysteries are perfect for internet investigators to take on. Codebreaking mysteries, for example, have drawn in amateurs ever since the Zodiac killer left codes for police in California in s. More recently, in the FBI called on the public to help decipher notes found in the pockets of a man called Ricky McCormick, who had been murdered and left in a field in Missouri.
Yet other codebreaking efforts suggest that the effort is not in vain. On her deathbed, Dorothy Holm left behind strange notes written in code. After the baffled family posted them online, they were cracked by Abbey Kos of the online community Metafilter.
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Kos, a writer and editor who grew up in a Christian household, wondered if the codes represented the first letters of words that formed a prayer. It was strictly a puzzle. She gives the example of one internet detective whose method of identifying bodies involves systematically searching for information in the area surrounding the location where the corpse was discovered. They could be working in jobs for chains of stores, such as cashiers for example, or they may be behind the scenes — one of them is a police dispatcher.
Johnny Goodlittle in horror comedy The Monster has taken a correspondence course on how to be a detective. The local cops ignore him when he finds a clue concerning the mysterious disappearance of a local businessman, so Johnny investigates for himself and winds up in an Old, Dark House , trapped by a Mad Scientist. Sister Mary Bonaventure, a nun in charge of a hospital, in Thunder on the Hill. When she meets the sister of a murdered pianist, she has a gut feeling that the sister is innocent and sets out to prove her innocence. Alejandro has been bounty hunting for years now, but Esperanza has never solved a murder case before, nor has she ever done any sort of police work.
Agatha Christie has several: Christie's Ariadne Oliver is a bit of a parody of this trope: She frankly admits that her writing experience gives her very little practical investigating skills and always guesses the wrong person or, alternatively, guesses every possible suspect in turn before declaring that she always suspected the real killer.
The final solution to the crime in Towards Zero was exposed by Andrew MacWhirter, a random passer-by who unwittingly got involved in the investigation through a chance encounter with one of the suspects, whom he believes to be innocent. Satterwhite, an art critic of sorts. They were eventually joined by Hercule Poirot. Miss Marple usually just happens to be somewhere around where murders happen. Then she solves them by Obfuscating Stupidity and asking the right questions from the right people.
Day Jobs of the Amatuer Detectives
Margery Allingham's Albert Campion , a mysterious aristocrat driven by his love of adventure. Specialist in fairy stories. Jack Reacher , the character Lee Child's Reacher novels are based around. A freelancing drifter who solves murders, and various other mysteries, living off a payout received at the end of his military days, and money obtained from bad guys or in gratitude for solving cases. Lord Peter Wimsey , an independently wealthy aristocrat whose hobby is detection; except for once moonlighting as an advertising copywriter, he has never held a job — he's too rich to actually need one.
Sayers also wrote a number of short stories featuring a traveling salesman with the unlikely name of Montague Egg ; when he's not acting in his capacity as a broker for a London firm of wine merchants, he finds himself occasionally stumbling across crime scenes and offering his common-sense expertise.
The Hardy Boys , schoolboys. Subverted in the 3rd season of the s tv series in which the Boys so impressed a Justice Department official that they are recruited as professional agents for the organization. In two recent Spin-Off series they're not so amateur anymore.
In the Hardy Boys Casefiles, they're recruited into an Interpol-like organization called the Network by an agent known only as the Gray Man who realized they're out for vengeance after Joe's girlfriend Iola is killed by a car bomb. In The Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers, they're recruited into another organization called ATAC American Teens Against Crime, with the in-series justification that teenagers can go places and ask questions that would otherwise made adults looks suspicious. In a similar spirit to The Hardy Boys , The Three Investigators were a group of school kids who would solve mysteries they encountered.
The amateur detectives tackling murders and kidnaps
While they would all help each other and work together, Jupiter was responsible for solving most of the cases. He says that the understanding of human nature gained by a priest is all of the training one needs to be a detective. Encyclopedia Brown , a schoolboy who runs his own agency solving schoolyard mysteries, and sometimes assists his father who is the local police chief. Sammy Keyes , teen girl detective in Santa Martina, California. Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr is a professional burglar who has a habit of running across murders during his "jobs" - and usually ends up the prime suspect, forcing him to solve the cases in order to exonerate himself.
Lee under the pseudonym "Ellery Queen," is a mystery writer who assists his police chief father on tough cases. The duo also created Shakespearean actor Drury Lane, who took up detecting as a hobby after retiring from the stage. Although the Trope Codifier Sherlock Holmes has no formal connection to law enforcement and is occasionally referred to as an "amateur" in the stories, he doesn't quite fit this trope since crime-solving is still his primary line of work.
And he gets paid for it.
He is professionally termed as a "Consulting Detective" and charges fees for his services. He would appear to be what we'd commonly call now a private investigator. Holmes describes himself as an "amateur of crime", using the term in the then-current usage to mean an enthusiast or "lover" of crime, from the latin "amo". He does refer to "remitting his fees entirely" at his discretion, and does so on at least one occasion; there are also occasions where he does not actually solve the crime — the murder of Charles Augustus Milverton, for example, where he colludes in covering the matter up — or there IS no crime, such as "The Man with the Twisted Lip".
Amelia Peabody and her husband Radcliffe Emerson are both amateur sleuths who are both Victorian Egyptologists, so that they qualify for Adventurer Archaeologist , not to mention Battle Couple. Charles Paris, a perennially semi-employed British actor, in a series of books by Simon Brett. He's usually a suspect at some point. Nicholas Bracewell, "bookholder" stage manager for an Elizabethan theater company, in a series by Edward Marston.
In later books of the series, however, she becomes an official agent for a CIA-wannabe. The Boxcar Children , although being a series aimed at young children, the "crimes" they solve are rarely very serious. Somewhat of a subversion in that Fletcher is a certified Private Eye, but he is certified in the US and lives in Ireland.
He took an online course. John Dickson Carr 's portly master detective Dr. Supposedly the two chose a banker as their detective because "there is nothing on God's earth a banker can't get into". As far as is known, he was only ever suspected in Confess, Fletch , and even then not seriously; for five of the books he's an Intrepid Reporter but about halfway through the series goes into semiretirement and is just the guy who happens to be there.
TKKG from the series of the same name. A group of kids doing investigations. Simon Rattray a pseudonym for Elleston Trevor wrote a series of mysteries with chess-themed titles about Hugo Bishop. The back covers of the s editions all carried the words, "He's not a cop, nor a private eye. He just shows up to help. He's on a First-Name Basis with a Scotland Yard inspector they're old school chums , and a number of other policemen recognize him with a respectful, "Oh, it's you , Mr. Bishop," and take his orders without much question. The main character of Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar books is an Oxford professor, who is assisted in solving crimes by a quartet of barristers.
Firestar from Warrior Cats went out of his way to solve several crimes in The Original Series , such as Redtail's death and some kit-killings in ShadowClan. Minor character Shrewtooth later tries his paws at it by solving the mystery of Leafstar's lost kits in the SkyClan and the Stranger manga minutes before Leafstar herself worked it out. Lori Shepherd in the Aunt Dimity series, and in some respects, Dimity herself.
Lori has some knowledge of old books and manuscripts which does come in handy from time to time , but she inherited a fortune from Dimity and so favors and help each other with their cases. The Thinking Machine , is a university professor who solves 'impossible' crimes that are brought to him by his journalist friend Hutchinson Hatch. It's interesting that in this series, the amateur sleuth actually is a clever serial killer, although his skill at hiding his murders means that he is rarely called to investigate his own crimes. Except, of course, in the second series, when a scuba diver stumbles onto Dexter's underwater burial ground, and the central plot is about the hunt for the "Bay Harbor Butcher" Dexter and Dexter's attempts to sabotage the investigation and not get caught.
Jonathan Creek , a magician's assistant who solves impossible crimes, including the occasional Locked Room Mystery.
The titular OCD and phobia-ridden detective of Monk does have a somewhat official connection to law enforcement, but murders do happen wherever he goes , which means he's often outside SFPD jurisdiction. Before that he was already solving crimes since junior high. The UCOS squad of New Tricks is composed of retired detectives who, although they investigate unsolved crimes, are not actually official police officers.