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How Do Private Eyes Do That? [Kindle Edition]

Colleen Collins
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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  • Length: 201 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

“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

"I picked up my copy as a whim to flesh out the background of my own fictional PI, and after reading the book, trashed just about everything I had written. I see now that you have to pay for the book. No matter. It is a spectacular bargain. It will help sweep out misconceptions, empty the waste bin of trite, worn out cliches and give you plenty of room for fresh ideas. Man, it'll save your life."
- C. M. Briggs

"I have been "snooping" for over 30 years. I worked Security and Law Enforcement, in the military, back in the 80's. I WAS TRULY IMPRESSED with the information in this book!"
~I. Reed Alott

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 supplement to the book is a chapter from How to Write a Dick: A Guide to Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths, co-authored by Colleen Collins. This chapter describes numerous specializations in the field of private investigations, including legal investigations, infidelity investigations, pet detection, insurance investigations, personal injury investigations, executive protection and more.

“If you're looking for the lowdown on private investigations, this is it. Packed with details and insights. A must-have for anybody writing private-eye fiction and for anybody who's curious about what being a private-eye is really like.”
- Bill Crider, author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series and many other novels in multiple genres

Product Details

  • File Size: 493 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WIN, Inc. (October 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SSZJM8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tips for mystery writers. November 28, 2012
By Gene B
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting, especially for writers of mysteries or crime stories. Lots of good tips on making your characters believable and that investigators actually investigate realistically.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do private eyes do that? October 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book, it was very enlightening about what private eyes actually do.
If you ever need the services of a private eye than this is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good information for writers March 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an enjoyable and informative book. Lots of examples from real cases. I'm sure I will refer to it many times while writing my mysteries! Recommended for anyone who wants to know how it's done in real life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting January 5, 2013
By Larry
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a retired LE officer and now a new Private Eye I am reading books on how to do investigations in the private sector.
This book was full of ideas and 'how to's' to get the job done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb research tool May 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hey, if you're going to write spooky mysteries of killer thrillers, you must know the craft. So save yourself being investigated or arrested, thrown in jail, and bonded out or convicted. Just read this book and invite your imagination to soar outside the bars on the window. PI Jake Knight from Sonoma has read this book three times. At the last sheep birth I attended with him, he quoted from it.
That PI is smarter than me. Great book. Great read. - Peter Prasad, author, GURL-POSSE KIDNAP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great knowledge February 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am an attorney who uses PIs from time to time, but about four years ago I had to question my use of PIs ever since my former companies PIs overstepped their authority. This is a great book that details the mentality of a PI. Knowing what they think allows me to give them tighter parameters in their charge. The PI is an extension of the attorney. What the PI does reflects on you and your client. Accordingly, now that I better understand what they do, how they think it makes it easier to use them for my cases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic February 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I usually don’t read books like this but wanted to try something new for a change and I have always been interested in PI’s. Glad I picked this one to read. Wow, this is some really interesting stuff. I think even if you are not interested in PI’s , a lot of this information should be read as I was totally unaware of some of these tips like email security and blocking calls. I thought to block a call it was all or nothing. There are wonderful links included throughout this book to help learn even more. This author really went above and beyond explaining all areas of PI’s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Behind-the-Scenes Look at the World of PIs! February 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I've always found private investigators or "private eyes" to be utterly fascinating since I was introduced to famous PI characters like Sherlock Holmes and Dick Tracy. So when I ran across "How Do Private Eyes Do That?" I knew it would be a fun read and it really was (as well as quite educational). Colleen Collins delves into the world of PIs from the mindset and just how a private eye gets things done to the fields and specializations that PIs can be attached to. From a writing standpoint, the author has creating a well-written, well-organized and thoroughly engrossing book that manages to be educational while entertaining the reader with the glamorous life of a private eye.

I have to admit that what I learned did point me in a great direction for my future writing projects as just getting a closer look at the world of private eyes gave a few wonderful concepts for a book I've been contemplating. Overall, whether you're a writing looking to understand the PI world a bit better or you're just looking for a bit of fun reading, "How Do Private Eyes Do That?" is a information packed book that puts the fun in private eye.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Snooper" Introduction to all things Gumshoe
Whether you are an aspiring mystery writer, or someone who is merely intrigued by the art of "snooping", this book offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of sleuthing. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Aspiring PI's
Wow. I couldn't put this book down. I read a lot of fiction crime stories and so to have a look at the back ground work of a private detective was very interesting indeed. Read more
Published 15 months ago by amazing
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
This book is full of helpful hints and useful information, including reference links. Much of this book comes directly from her columns in Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes.
Published 18 months ago by Mamacita
5.0 out of 5 stars learned a ton!
This is such a fascinating book about what private eyes really do. If you want an education you should definitely read it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by walshy
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential, cost-effective info for mystery writers
"How Do Private Eyes Do That?" is a thin but exceptionally useful little volume. A free read when I acquired it, I got the impression that it was basically a sampler for Colleen... Read more
Published 21 months ago by C. M. Briggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great info!
Adds authenticity and factual means to track down individuals and information for aspiring writers to include in their novels. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Earl I
5.0 out of 5 stars she knows her stuff......and then some!
I have been "snooping" for over 30 years. I worked Security and Law Enforcement, in the military, back in the 80's. I WAS TRULY IMPRESSED with the information in this book! Read more
Published 23 months ago by I. Reed Alott
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT TEACHING TOOL
Not finished but will go back to it for my next book which happens to be a murder mystery with an angel helper for a victim.
Published on January 3, 2013 by Nanookbest
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More About the Author

Colleen Collins is an award-winning author of romance, mystery and nonfiction.


HEARTS IN VEGAS, the third book in her private-eye romance series from Harlequin Superromance (July 2014). SLEEPLESS IN LAS VEGAS (2013), the second book in the private-eye romance series, is a 2014 Award of Merit winner from the Virginia Romance Writers.

THE UNGRATEFUL DEAD (A Humorous Colorado Mystery Book 1), Prequel to THE ZEN MAN (2014)

THE ZEN MAN (A Humorous Colorado Mystery Book 2), a 2013 BookRooster Editors' Pick and semifinalist in the Best Indie Books 2012 (first edition 2011, second edition 2014)

A LAWYER'S PRIMER FOR WRITERS: FROM CRIMES TO COURTROOMS, a nonfiction book co-authored with defense attorney Shaun Kaufman (2014)

Colleen's books have placed first in the Colorado Gold, Romancing the Rockies, and Top of the Peak contests, and placed in the finals for the Holt Medallion, Coeur de Bois Readers Choice, Award of Excellence, More than Magic, and Romance Writers of America RITA contests.

She's a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Colleen's blog:
Her P.I. Blog:
Fan Facebook Page:

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