Sherlock Holmes I Presume

Sherlock Holmes is the product of the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s very creative mind. The great private detective first made his mark on the literary scene in 1887 in the first of four novels in a short series. The private eye has since then been seen on television, movies, and even the stage. There have been over 200 movies made that feature the character, with over 70 lucky actors getting to play the part. Conan Doyle was said to have derived his inspiration for Holmes from Joseph Bell, a surgeon for whom Conan Doyle had worked under before.
It was said that he had a very bohemian lifestyle, but was very clean and orderly in most aspects of his life. He also had a habit of smoking tobacco, and there are even some instances to him uses some harder drugs.
The fictional history of Sherlock Holmes is somewhat vague, as Conan Doyle never went into too much detail, but it is said that he was born in 1854. He then became somewhat of a private investigator during his undergraduate time at the college he attended, and some of his very first cases were said to have come from those classmates of his that needed help. It was through this work, and his eventual financial need of a partner, that he came into contact with John H. Watson and that is really when the Sherlock Holmes stories started.
After joining with Watson, the doctor joined him for at least 17 years of private detective work. It is said that Holmes was in the private detective game for 23 years total. They were roommates and worked together on many cases that were brought to them for whatever reason that they needed to be solved. They were of course, one of the best literary pairs of crime solvers and some of the best friends as well.
At one point in his life, Holmes was killed off by his creator, Conan Doyle, only to be brought back a few years later after public outcry at his death. It was explained that he faked his death to trick those who were against him. He then retired for good in what many believe to be sometimes before 1904, and not much is known about his later days and his death. But what can be for certain is his legacy he left on all the private detectives that came after him, both in literature and on screen.

Shawn Spencer – Psych Detective Agency


Shawn Spencer is perhaps one of the oddest fictional private detectives that was ever created. From the mind of Steve Franks, an irresponsible, immature, and often over the top private detective was born. Alongside his best friend, Burton Guster, and the Santa Barbara Police Department, Shawn helped solve many cases while the show, Psych, was on air, and he did it in his own unique and definitely unforgettable way.

While Shawn had no real police or private detective training, he grew up with a police officer for a father, who trained him from a young age to observe everything around him, and with Shawn’s natural memory ability, he was able to hone those skills to be useful on the job of a police officer, which was his father’s dream. Shawn did not follow in those footsteps, and after a series of anonymous tips to police departments to help them solve crimes, he actually got a job as the consultant for the police department under the ruse that he is a psychic (in order to stay out of jail) and that is how he solves the cases.

Though he never went to the police academy, he did take the detective’s exam and passed at the age of 15 and continues to be a great shot with a gun. He roped his best friend and confidante, Burton ‘Gus’ Guster into working with him as a consultant. They late started their own private investigation company called Psych, where they took on private cases as well as working for the Police Department.

The detectives at the police department put up with his often over the top shenanigans when he is “having a psychic vision” which will lead to a break in the case. Detective Carlton Lassiter is the most against his hiring and doubts his psychic abilities, while his partner, Juliet O’Hara believes Shawn is who he says he is and believes in him.

Over the course of the years he worked with the police department, he helped bring serial killers to justice as well as working the smaller cases with his own firm. He was a very unconventional private detective, but thanks to his memory and his observation skills, he was able to become the asset that that police department needed in order to solve the crimes they did. And all of this was done without any formal training or much effort put in at all.

Jim Rockford – The Rockford Files


One of the few fictional private detectives that did not originate on paper is Jim Rockford played by James Garner. Resident of California, struggling detective, and former convict, Rockford was brought to the screen in 1974 and stayed on screen until the show, The Rockford Files, ended in 1980. The man is known for being a little bit of a womanizer, as over the course of the series, he was known for dating many different women. It was even stated he had an ex-wife, but never married again while onscreen.
His history is interesting. He was a Sergeant in the Korean War and after a few mishaps, was demoted to Private once again. Some of his cases that he solves as a private detective often involved old members of his unit during the war, and it often spells trouble and mishaps whenever he takes these cases on. He has been a private investigator since 1968, though this is never explicitly stated, just seen on an ad during a certain scene in an episode.
While he is a self proclaimed scaredy-cat, his actions and his mannerisms would argue this point. His prior conviction was a wrongful one, and after some time spent in prison, Rockford was pardoned after only serving five years. Because his business as a private investigator is not as lucrative as some would want it to be, he lives in a mobile home, and does not exactly have a lot of fancy odds and ends. He is famous for never carrying a gun on the job, and prefers to stay out of fights.
The cases that he would work on were mostly cold cases or some low budget insurance scam crimes. He also will work on missing person’s investigations, but tries to maintain a low profile and not deal with the police officers very often. As a standard for many detectives in the late 1970s and 1980s, he made himself famous for his cool head and likes to work alone.
Many television detectives have come to the screen thanks to Jim Rockford. There are many shows that have used him as some inspiration and have been able to create their own investigators from him. Jim Rockford was always played by the late, great James Garner, and he brought all of the characteristics from the paper, to the big screen. The show is on syndication and continues to garner many fans from all generations.

Adrian Monk – Monk

Adrian Monk is a different kind of private detective. Originating on the television show named for him, Monk, he is a former homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department, and now he works as a private police consultant on homicides in the area. He also suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder which plays a large part in his life as a detective. Monk, played by Tony Shalhoub, also suffers from multiple phobias and after it was discovered that his wife was murdered, both of these conditions got worse, which led to him getting suspended and becoming a consultant.
Adrian Monk is of Welsh background and was brought to television in 2002. His background is different and varied for a private detective in modern day life. He had a wife who was killed in a car bomb attack that he felt was for him. Because of this, his already heightened OCD got worse, and he was discharge from the police department for psychological reasons. After that, he started consulting for the police department, while still investigating his own case of finding out who it was that killed his wife.
After years of his own investigating, and small pieces of clues along the way, he was able to find the person responsible for killing his wife, bringing him some closure to a long lasting case.
Because of all of his phobias and his OCD, he must rely on other people to drive him around and get things for him that he cannot do himself. He relies on many personal assistants who are there with wipes to clean surfaces that he feels needs to be clean and other things like that. Despite his problems, he is still a very good detective and is able to solve the crimes that he becomes a consultant for.
Monk was said to be based off of a few other fictional private detectives, one of which was Sherlock Holmes. He was sharp in his details and observation, which gave him the ability to get down to the bottom of the case. He even has some foundation in the creator of Monk the character, David Hoberman, who is also a sufferer of obsessive compulsive disorder. What is great about Adrian Monk is that anyone can see that despite your imposed limitations, it is entirely possible to still be able to live your life and do a lot of good in the world, no matter what.