The Zen Man blog came about after I wrote the mystery The Zen Man, a play on The Thin Man as it features a man-and-woman PI team (yes, fiction does reflect real life sometimes!). I thought it'd be fun to write a blog from a female private investigator's point of view on conducting investigations, case stories, working as part of a couple PI team, writing books and more.
How Do Private Eyes Do That? is a compilation of articles about private investigations written by Colleen Collins, a professional private investigator. Its topics are geared to readers interested in the world of PIs, including fiction writers, researchers, investigators and those simply curious about the profession.
“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
"SECRETS OF A REAL-LIFE FEMALE PRIVATE EYEis a research must-have." ~Holly Jacobs, award-winning author of Steamed, featuring amateur sleuth Quincy Mac
“SECRETS OF A REAL-LIFE FEMALE PRIVATE EYE is a great resource for anyone writing a female P.I. character, or any P.I. character. Filled with great tips and real-life examples, it helps clarify how things are really done. But it's particularly interesting how the book shows that a female P.I. can have a distinct advantage over a male P.I. in many situations, something for writers to think about.”
~Paul D. Marks, author of the 2013 Shamus nominated noir-mystery, White Heat
“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
Our Rottweilers: Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin
If you're a dog owner, you know it's the other way around--they own you.
In our case, we're owned by two dogs, our Rottweilers Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin. They're big, sweet and sensitive. As in over-sensitive. I know, in the movies they're usually portrayed as ferocious, drooling beasts...probably because somebody off-camera was waving a steak at them.
The pup, Jack, in these pictures is now the bigger "Rot" of the two. Jack, is (as a dog trainer told us) "clueless" about things that are less than lovely in the world--this was after the trainer observed Jack touch noses with a squirrel, then happily watch as the squirrel scampered off. He's like Ferdinand the Bull. If Jack had his druthers, he'd lie in a field watching the clouds, occasionally bounding through the soft grass, and of course rubbing noses with squirrels.
The older dog, Aretha, cries and whimpers if another dog barks at her. Over-sensitive, like I said. When we first opened our investigations agency, we called her "Investigator Aretha" because she accompanied us on many of our field investigations, even once climbing part way up a mountain with us when we investigated a criminal incident that occurred on a ski slope. My husband won't let me forget the time he had to serve legal papers to a questionable individual at his home. He said he was taking Aretha with him. I asked him not to because she might get hurt.
Ha! Didn't even realize what I'd said until the words left my mouth.
If you're a Rottie-owner, you also know that they have great senses of humor. They're the comics of the dog world!
Here's a bunch of our Rottie pictures. May I introduce you to Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin (AKA Investigator Aretha).