List of fictional private investigators

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This is a partial list of fictional private investigators — also known as private eyes or PIs — who have appeared in various works of literature, film, television, and games.

Detective Creator Debut
Angel Joss Whedon Angel (TV) (1999)
Lew Archer Ross Macdonald The Moving Target (1949)
Byomkesh Bakshi Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay Satyanweshi (novel)
Kate Brannigan Val McDermid Dead Beat[1] (1992)
Joe Caneili Hayford Peirce P. I. Joe Caneili, Discretion Assuree[2] (2000)
Carlotta Carlyle Linda Barnes A Trouble of Fools[3] (1987)
Rex Carver Victor Canning Doubled in Diamonds[4] (1966)
Detective Chimp John Broome and Carmine Infantino Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #4 (July–August 1952)
Emerson Cod Bryan Fuller Pushing Daisies (TV) (2007)
Elvis Cole Robert Crais The Monkey's Raincoat (1987)
The Continental Op Dashiell Hammett The Tenth Clew[5] (1924)
Harry Dresden Jim Butcher Storm Front (2000)
The Dresden Files (TV) (2007)
Nancy Drew Carolyn Keene The Secret of the Old Clock (1930)
Feluda, or Prodosh Chandra Mitra Satyajit Ray Feludar Goendagiri
Dan Fortune Michael Collins Act of Fear[6] (1967)
Josephine Fuller Lynne Murray Larger Than Death[7] (1997)
Dirk Gently Douglas Adams Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)
Lindsay Gordon Val McDermid Report for Murder[8] (1987)
Bernhard Guenther Philip Kerr March Violets (1989)
Mike Hammer Mickey Spillane I, the Jury[9] (1947)
Cliff Hardy Peter Corris The Dying Trade[10] (1980)
Frank and Joe Hardy Franklin Dixon The Tower Treasure (1930)
Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet (1887)
Jessica Jones Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos Alias (2001)
Jessica Jones (2015)
Arthur Lemming Monty Python Monty Python's Flying Circus - "Owl Stretching Time" (1969)
Thomas Magnum Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson Magnum, P.I. (TV) (1980)
Philip Marlowe Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep (1939)
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Hemlock Marreau Robert Farrow Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman[11] (1991)
Veronica Mars
Keith Mars
Rob Thomas Veronica Mars (2004)
Travis McGee John D. MacDonald The Deep Blue Good-by[12] (1964)
Kinsey Millhone Sue Grafton A is for Alibi[13] (1982)
Tess Monaghan Laura Lippman Baltimore Blues"[14] (1997)
Tex Murphy Chris Jones Mean Streets (2004)
Mr. Nadgett Charles Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit. He was the first fictional private investigator[15]
Nameless Detective Bill Pronzini The Snatch[16] (1971)
Harry Orwell Howard Rodman Harry O (TV) (1974)
Hercule Poirot Agatha Christie The Mysterious Affair at Styles[17] (1920)
Ellery Queen Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee The Roman Hat Mystery[permanent dead link] (1929)
Precious Ramotswe Alexander McCall Smith The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency[18] (1998)
Jeff Randall Dennis Spooner Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969)
Sunny Randall Robert B. Parker Family Honor[19] (1999)
Jim Rockford Richard T. Heffron The Rockford Files (TV) (1974)
Kiriti Roy Nihar Ranjan Gupta
Shuichi Saihara Spike Chunsoft Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Matthew Scudder Lawrence Block The Sins of the Fathers (1976)
John Shaft Ernest Tidyman Shaft[20] (1971)
Sam Spade Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon[21] (1930)
The Maltese Falcon (1931)
Shawn Spencer Steve Franks and Andy Berman Psych (TV) (2006)
Spenser Robert B. Parker The Godwulf Manuscript[22] (1973)
Cormoran Strike Robert Galbraith "The Cuckoo's Calling" (2013)
"Strike (TV series)" (2017)
Larry "Doc" Sportello Thomas Pynchon Inherent Vice (2009)
Amos Walker Loren D. Estleman Motor City Blue[23] (1980)
V. I. Warshawski Sara Paretsky Indemnity Only[24] (1982)
Nero Wolfe Rex Stout Fer-de-Lance (1934)


  1. ^ Dead Beat
  2. ^ P. I. Joe Caneili, Discretion Assuree
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Doubled in Diamonds
  5. ^ The Tenth Clew
  6. ^ Act of Fear
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Report for Murder
  9. ^ I, the Jury
  10. ^ The Dying Trade
  11. ^ Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman
  12. ^ The Deep Blue Good-by
  13. ^ A is for Alibi
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ Mitzi Brunsdale, Gumshoes: A Dictionary of Fictional Detectives, Introduction, p.3. Also, LeRoy Lad PanekBefore Sherlock Holmes: How Magazines and Newspapers Invented the Detective. p.97
  16. ^ The Snatch
  17. ^ The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  18. ^ The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Family Honor
  20. ^ Shaft
  21. ^ The Maltese Falcon
  22. ^ The Godwulf Manuscript
  23. ^ Motor City Blue
  24. ^ "Indemnity Only". Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2008.