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“He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.” ~Raymond Chandler

To celebrate Raymond Chandler’s birthday (July 23, 1888), here are some recipes inspired by the writer called “the icon of noir fiction” by the L.A. Times.

Apparently nobody has created an angel food cake […]

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I love private eye characters, stories and film as much as the next guy or gal, but sometimes I groan out loud when a writer doesn’t bother to do a bit of research to add at least a whiff of realism to a private investigator’s actions. After co-owning a PI agency and having […]

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With the current frenzy of politicians vying to be nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties’ bids for the presidency, I’m sharing a post about a job I had in 1979 when I accidentally fell into the midst of Ronald Reagan’s inner circle, who later became his first cabinet. This was on the eve of […]

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As it’s the last few days before Christmas, below is a virtual basket of goodies.  Happy holidays!

Free App: 101 Christmas Cake Ideas (for iPhone, iPad, iPod)

Free App: Christmas Radio (for Android)

Free App: Santa’s Bag – Christmas List (for iPhone, iPad, iPod)

Free App: TripIt – […]

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(Below is an excerpt from my article “P.I.s, Pretexting, and the Law: Tips for Crime Writers,” posted July 26, 2013, at Pursuit Magazine, the magazine for professional investigators)


“To tell the truth, I lied a little.”

~Private eye Jake Gittes in Chinatown

The private eye genre has long been a favorite for writers, […]

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Several years ago, I wrote the column “P.I. Confidential” for the organization Novelists, Inc.  As the organization’s membership were published full-length commercial novelists, I geared the information to writers.  At the end of the article I answer a writer’s question about her fictional PI interviewing an intoxicated suspect who confesses, out of the blue, to […]

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(Excerpt from Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye by Colleen Collins)

When we started our private investigations agency back in 2003-2004, we invested a chunk of money in equipment upfront.  We were starting on a shoestring […]

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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 […]

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Happy New Year!  

There’s plenty of cocktails named after the hardboiled private dicks like Philip Marlowe’s Gimlet or the intellectual detective, like the smoky Sherlock Holmes cocktail, which by the way includes Sherlock’s favorite tea, Lapsang souchong.

But there’s also a few cocktails named after some of our favorite lady sleuths, from the […]

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The First Official Female Private Eye

Kate Warne is viewed by many to be the first female private detective in the U.S. Perhaps a better way to say it is, she’s the first official female private detective, as she was the initial woman hired by the established Pinkerton National Detective Agency, the nationally recognized private […]

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