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In my current release, The Next Right Thing (Harlequin Superromance, March 2013), the heroine is a private investigator. Because I am also a private investigator in real life, I didn’t have to research her career all that much. But even if I wasn’t a PI, there are ways I could have learned some basic techniques and tools of the trade to help me write a private eye or sleuth character. In this article, I’ll offer six such tips.

Six Research Tips

Tip #1: Read books on investigations. There are hundreds of books on topics, from background investigations to identity theft to personal injury investigations. One resource for investigative books is

Tip #2: Review online magazines. There are free, online magazines that outline investigative techniques, resources and tools, such as Pursuit Magazine , Fraud Magazine and Evidence Technology Magazine.

Tip #3: Research investigation websites and blogs. Numerous private detectives write about investigative practices and case studies on their websites and blogs. My private investigator-attorney husband and I co-author Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes, which has articles geared to writers as well as researchers and investigators. Other PI blogs include Private Eye Confidential , PI Stories and Diligentia Group.

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Praise for The Next Right Thing

“A heart-warming family story set against the razzle-dazzle of Vegas. Private investigator Cammie Copello is charming and fearless!” ~USA Today Best-selling Author Cassie Miles

“Colorful, skillful description and lively, fully fleshed-out characters contribute to this great read.” ~RT Book Reviews