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Ask a friend to name a detective, and legendary sleuths such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or Kosuke Kindaichi will probably figure in their reply. Regardless of nationalities, detectives seem to be familiar to many — provided they are fictional characters.

In real life, however, private detectives are a notably anonymous and unfamiliar bunch. At most, we only know that there are those who investigate the conduct of almost anyone a client pays them to gather information about. The average person will never encounter one, unless of course they have a pressing need to become a client themselves — perhaps because of a troubled relationship.

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