​Four Kindle Gift Book Ideas for the Wannabe Sleuth or Crime/Mystery Reader

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Three nonfiction books for people who want to learn about the real world of private detectives, and a mystery novel for those who love stories with thrills, humor and romance.
"Collins knows her stuff."
~Lori Wilde, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

How to Write a Dick: A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths

This nonfiction research book for writers, co-authored with attorney and former investigator Shaun Kaufman, provides facts and guidance for novelists, scriptwriters and others who are crafting mystery, legal thriller or suspense stories. This book also appeals to readers who are simply curious about the techniques and tools of real-life private eyes. Topics include a history of private investigators; descriptions of various specialized fields and how to gain experience in them, from insurance investigations to white-collar crime investigations to pet detection; how private investigators conduct surveillances on foot and in vehicles; the basics of homicide investigations and how private investigators might be involved; a gumshoe glossary and much more.

“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

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This nonfiction book is useful for writers conducting research for mystery, thriller and suspense novels, as well as for readers interested in learning about real private detectives. The book provides dozens of articles on the art of private investigations, including case examples and a listing of recommended writers' and professional private investigators' sites. Topics include how to locate missing persons, how to find cell phone numbers, tips for catching cheating spouses, where to access free online research sites, techniques for conducting successful witness interviews, tips for investigating white-collar crime and more.

“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

"Real-life private investigator Colleen Collins spills the beans."
~The Thrilling Detective


Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye

A nonfiction, no-holes-barred, modern-day story about life in the female PI fast lane.  Sample topics include:

  • History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and its hiring of the first U.S. female private eye, Kate Warne
  • Advantages and dangers of being a current-day female P.I.
  • Tools of the trade, including interactive crime maps, Google maps, investigative equipment and smartphone apps
  • Case examples, from ghost hunting to criminal investigations
  • Investigative tips, such as how to find lost pets, handy Google searches, where to locate court files, ways to defeat a cyberstalker, and how to send an untraceable email
  • Overview of three classic TV female private eyes
  • Links to additional articles about private investigations
  • P.I. blogs, periodicals and websites

“As an experienced private detective and a skilled storyteller, Colleen Collins is the perfect person to offer a glimpse into the lives of real female P.I.s”
~Kim Green, managing editor of Pursuit Magazine: The Magazine of Professional Investigators

"Colleen Collins's chronicle about her investigative career is completely authentic. She brings her real-world P.I. stories to your e-reader straight from the streets!"
~ Shaun Kaufman, former P.I. and managing partner, Shaun Kaufman Law

“SECRETS OF A REAL-LIFE FEMALE PRIVATE EYE is a research must-have.”
~Holly Jacobs, award-winning author of Steamed, featuring amateur sleuth Quincy Mac

Semifinalist Best Indie Books of 2012, The Kindle Book Reviews
BookRooster Reviewers Top Picks 2013

Just as washed-up criminal defense attorney, life-long Deadhead (nickname “The Zen Man”), and current PI Rick Levine decides to get relicensed as a lawyer, he’s charged with killing one and ends up in the slammer with a half-mil bail.

Released on bond, Rick and his girlfriend Laura have 30 days to find the real killer. In the course of their investigations, they dig for dirt among Denver’s shady legal backrooms to its tony corporate centers. Dodging bullets, a kidnapping, trumped-up charges and the FBI's unwanted intervention, Rick and Laura continue tracking key suspects who have motive...eventually learning that true redemption begins at home.

“I loved every single word of The Zen Man!”
~ Delores Fossen, USA Today Best-selling Author

"Move over Sam Spade, Nick and Nora; make room for a Denver who-dun-it, Colleen Collins’s The Zen Man. Brilliant and fast-paced writing. I couldn’t put it down."
~ Donnell Ann Bell, Award-Winning Author of The Past Came Hunting

"A brilliant mystery novel...I eagerly await the return of the Zen Man."
~Becky Sherriff, The Kindle Book Review