With all the negativity still looming in the air around the ongoing Leveson enquiry and the ethics of the British press and private detectives we thought that it would be a great time to look at how private detectives have influenced countless writers, producers and authors into creating fictional private detective characters and briging them to life through books, television and films.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is responsible for creating the most well known and without a doubt most famous fictional private detective, Sherlock Holmes. It is no surprise that a lot of character traits that were attributed to Conan Doyle were similar in that of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle was himself a physician and this was reflected hugely in Holmes character with the detective often using forensic or scientific methods as well as logical thinking to solve many of his cases.
Conan Doyle also said that the character of Holmes was influenced by Dr Joseph Bell, seen as a pioneer of forensic science and a one time employer of Conan Doyle, whilst Sir Henry Littlejohn a police surgeon was also accredited for some of the traits making up Holmes distinct link between detection of crime and forensic science methods to solve a case.
Sherlock Holmes was first seen through literature and publications in the late 1800’s and is still popular in the modern day with a recent 2009 release of a Hollywood blockbuster movie, featuring Robert Downey Jr as Holmes, getting a worldwide big screen audience.
Legendary actor Humphrey Bogart brought to life another famous fictional private detective in The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade, again born out of a novel and turned into a movie for wider acclaim and fame. His portrayal of the detective was the third time Sam Spade had been made into a film and is easily the most well known of the three versions. The influence and traits shown by the character created by Dashiell Hamlett, was an unmatched determination for justice, a great eye for details and ability to work alone with no emotional attachments; all attributes that could be part of a real life private detectives mindset and behaviour.
Of course there have been many other fictional private detectives but none have had the worldwide acclaim or ongoing popularity that Sherlock Holmes has, be it through novels, short stories, television series and films, Insight hope that people continue to see the good work and wide variety of useful services offered by a private detective as a source of inspiration and do not always let bad media coverage or press get in the way of what is a very well respected and experienced profession.