List of fictional private investigators

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
Karen Andersen Louise Burfitt-Dons The Missing Activist [1] 2018)
Angel Joss Whedon Angel (TV) (1999)
Harry Angel William Hjortsberg Falling Angel (1978)
Lew Archer Ross Macdonald The Moving Target (1949)
Byomkesh Bakshi Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay Satyanweshi (1934)
Goenda Baradacharan Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay Monojder Advut Bari
Parashor Barma Premendra Mitra Nagchampa (1968)
Benoit Blanc Rian Johnson Knives Out (2019)
Kate Brannigan Val McDermid Dead Beat[2] (1992)
Nestor Burma Léo Malet 120, rue de la Gare (1943)
Joe Caneili Hayford Peirce P. I. Joe Caneili, Discretion Assuree[3] (2000)
Carlotta Carlyle Linda Barnes A Trouble of Fools[4] (1987)
Rex Carver Victor Canning Doubled in Diamonds[5] (1966)
Dipak Chatterjee Swapan Kumar Adrishya Sanket (1953)
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[6] (1924)
Frankie Drake Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci Frankie Drake Mysteries (TV) (2018)
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 (1965)
Dan Fortune Michael Collins Act of Fear[7] (1967)
Josephine Fuller Lynne Murray Larger Than Death[8] (1997)
Dirk Gently Douglas Adams Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)
Lindsay Gordon Val McDermid Report for Murder[9] (1987)
Bernhard Guenther Philip Kerr March Violets (1989)
Mike Hammer Mickey Spillane I, the Jury[10] (1947)
Cliff Hardy Peter Corris The Dying Trade[11] (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)
Miss Madelyn Mack Hugh C. Weir "The Problem of the Eliminated Bridegroom" (1909)[12]
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)
Miss Jane Marple Agatha Christie "The Tuesday Night Club" (1927)
Hemlock Marreau Robert Farrow Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman[13] (1991)
Veronica Mars
Keith Mars
Rob Thomas Veronica Mars (2004)
Mitin Masi Suchitra Bhattacharya Pālābāra Patha Nē'i
Travis McGee John D. MacDonald The Deep Blue Good-by[14] (1964)
Kinsey Millhone Sue Grafton A is for Alibi[15] (1982)
Tess Monaghan Laura Lippman Baltimore Blues"[16] (1997)
Bhaduri Moshai Nirendranath Chakraborty
Tex Murphy Chris Jones Mean Streets (2004)
Mr. Nadgett Charles Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit. He was the first fictional private investigator[17]
Nameless Detective Bill Pronzini The Snatch[18] (1971)
Harry Orwell Howard Rodman Harry O (TV) (1974)
Hercule Poirot Agatha Christie The Mysterious Affair at Styles[19] (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[20] (1998)
Jeff Randall Dennis Spooner Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969)
Sunny Randall Robert B. Parker Family Honor[21] (1999)
Jim Rockford Richard T. Heffron The Rockford Files (TV) (1974)
Kiriti Roy Nihar Ranjan Gupta Kalo Bhramar (1930s)
Matthew Scudder Lawrence Block The Sins of the Fathers (1976)
John Shaft Ernest Tidyman Shaft[22] (1971)
Eddie Shoestring Robert Banks Stewart and Richard Harris Shoestring (TV) (1979)
Sam Spade Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon[23] (1930)
The Maltese Falcon (1931)
Shawn Spencer Steve Franks and Andy Berman Psych (TV) (2006)
Spenser Robert B. Parker The Godwulf Manuscript[24] (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[25] (1980)
V. I. Warshawski Sara Paretsky Indemnity Only[26] (1982)
Nero Wolfe Rex Stout Fer-de-Lance (1934)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Dead Beat
  3. ^ P. I. Joe Caneili, Discretion Assuree
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Doubled in Diamonds
  6. ^ The Tenth Clew
  7. ^ "Act of Fear". Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2006.
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ Report for Murder
  10. ^ I, the Jury
  11. ^ The Dying Trade
  12. ^ Great Mystery Stories in Illustrated Sunday Magazine, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, December 12, 1909 (first story is on previous page)
  13. ^ Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman
  14. ^ The Deep Blue Good-by
  15. ^ A is for Alibi
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ The Snatch
  19. ^ The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  20. ^ The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ Family Honor
  22. ^ Shaft
  23. ^ The Maltese Falcon
  24. ^ The Godwulf Manuscript
  25. ^ Motor City Blue
  26. ^ "Indemnity Only". Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2008.