PIs and Spies

Welcome to Opening a Mystery.

Fall is in the air and the days are getting shorter. And all the coffee shops smell like pumpkin spice.

One of the things that I want to do with this blog is introduce you to mystery novels, authors, and those that love them. There are so many good blogs that are about mysteries. And this week I’ve read two that I want to share.

Book 2 of Madison Kelly Mystery Series. by Elizabeth Breck
Double Take by Elizabeth Breck

On the October 15, 2021, Crime Reads blog, Elizabeth Breck gave us five of her most realistic private investigators in fiction. Breck is a PI herself, licensed and practicing in San Diego, California. Her second novel in her Madison Kelly Mystery Series, ‘Double Take’, comes out this month.

Breck gives us a mix of classics and new investigators with an eye for being realistic. “I can forgive not including specific details (We do have to go to the bathroom when on surveillance), but when something unrealistic was done, I’d have to put the book down.” I really enjoyed the insights on following someone.

Get the link here. And if you can add any PIs that you find realistic, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.


Another post I enjoyed this week was on Writers in the Storm. Piper Bayard gave an overview of the ‘Big Four’ of Federal intelligence organizations. She explains their different purposes, jurisdictions, and oversights.

To me, this is where many stories miss an opportunity to add tension and realism. NCIS and its spinoffs are often guilty of it, which is a shame. When they first started, you saw the struggle of doing what’s right under the bureaucratic rules and politics that the agents encounter. Now, many of the shows ignore the hierarchy of working inside a federal agency and let the characters go off in directions that would be impossible. And they miss a chance to add even more tension.

Since Bayard’s ‘Big Four’ are government agencies, you have to love the alphabet soup their names suggest: CIA, FBI, DHS, and the ever-popular NSA/CSS. This information can save our stories from being sunk because we didn’t understand the agency’s roles.

You will find her link here.

PIs and Spies. Which genre do you prefer? #mysteries #sleuths #amreading @opeingamystry @TimSuddeth Share on X

If you would like to continue getting articles about mysteries, please subscribe to my email list below. and thank you for visiting.

2 responses to “PIs and Spies”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *