Three famous fictional private detectives
The idea of a private detective is perhaps one of intrigue and mystery. In reality, the trade of police investigators and private surveillance is a very serious profession, as proven by companies like Private Investigations UK.
However, with so many private investigators etched into popular culture across TV, films and books, we have a glamorised idea of what a detective looks like and what they get up to. For a bit of fun, we have three famous fictional private detectives here, each with their own backstory and entertaining narrative – be that across novels, TV series, or the silver screen. We start with perhaps the most famous private investigator of them all…
UK Private Investigators will now always be expected to dress like Sherlock Holmes, due to the worldwide fame of British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in books from 1887, starring in a print called A Study in Scarlet.
Well over a hundred years on and Sherlock Holmes is as present as ever, quite famously played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch for a revered BBC television series.
If Sherlock Holmes is the witty, old-fashioned detective, Magnum P.I is the all-action, super-glamorous opposite. Played by moustached actor Tom Sellick in the American TV named after the character, Magnum P.I was an easy-watching series that combined comedy, action and a certain level of the 1980s sexiness. While not being the most critically acclaimed television show, Magnum P.I and its main character is remembered fondly and has a cult-like fanbase even today.
Another American private detective, Phillip Marlowe has come to define the role of P.I in crime fiction. Marlowe is known for this wisecracks and tough-talking nature, as well as his fondness for a drink as he investigates scrutinously. Dick Powell played the role of this famous detective in 1944’s iconic movie, Murder, My Sweet, which is regarded as one of the most important film noir releases of all-time.
While the role of a real-life private detective may not quite as cinematic or glamorous, they play an important role and regularly used today in various instances.
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