P is for … becoming a PI

Setting up The Blackleaf Agency as a private investigations business meant Raven – and later, Fern – had to undergo some extensive training.

Which meant I had to do some proper research (and I love research – almost more than writing the story)


Below are the elements of the course Raven chose to complete. (Details provided from the Institute of Private Investigators site)

  • The Characteristics of an Investigator – what type of individual carries out effective investigations?
  • Investigation Method – a proven template applicable to all investigations. If you only learn this methodology you will be able to conduct an effective investigation!
  • Taking Instructions and Client Relations – make sure you get and retain paying customers.
  • Statement Taking for Investigators – a core skill for anyone, taught by an experienced police detective and his private investigator counterparts!
  • Interview Law and Practice – how to elicit information from both the helpful and the obstructive!
  • Case Management – how to manage an enquiry so that it is successful, your clients needs are met, and expensive mistakes are prevented.
  • Incident Scenes and Exhibits – how to make sure that your exhibits are properly taken, stored and produced for forensic examination.
  • Tracing Investigations – need to find someone? Take this lesson and apply the skills personally as well as professionally!
  • Court Procedures – the law and practical aspects of taking cases to their ultimate end – a court hearing! Investigation by Computer – learn to utilise computers in investigations, an essential skill!
  • Surveillance and Recording – learn how when to use surveillance, and the practices and pitfalls of selecting a surveillance team.

All this, and specific skills and considerations relating to core investigative practices – process serving, criminal investigation, self-management, and more!

Of course, The Blackleaf Agency and Raven & Fern are fictitious – but the devil is in the detail. If this new investigative duo are to be taken seriously in this line of business, then they have to be professional and do whatever a ‘real’ person would be required to do. After all, they have to be believable – fiction or not – readers are an astute breed and they can spot an imposter a mile away. 🙂



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