Private detectives have been the in our fictions for ages. They have been the pivotal characters of riveting thrillers, hypnotised billions over decades, been the rachis behind the name, fame, survival of many national and international authors. The whodunits have made their way to celluloids, giving the viewers a grip of fictional suspense. In addition to bewitching the readers and viewers to a world of fantasy, it has generated a livelihood, to a crowd and continue to do so, who would have been defunct otherwise. As we have moved into 21st century, time has come to re-assess their fictitious incredible role in criminal investigation.

In 1833, Eugène François Vidocq, a French soldier, criminal, and crewman, founded the first known private detective agency ‘Le Bureau des Renseignements Universels pour le commerce et l’Industrie’ (The Office of Universal Information for Commerce and Industry) and hired ex-convicts. Official law enforcement tried…

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