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Baker Street Station

Is a Consulting Detective Really a Thing?

John Barrymore 1922 Sherlock Holmes -
Although the idea was likely conceptualized by Conan Doyle, consulting detectives do exist and Baker Street is the preeminent consulting detective consultancy

Yes, a consulting detective is a real profession, although it's quite rare and somewhat different from its portrayal in popular media, such as the famous character Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In reality, a consulting detective is essentially a private investigator or a specialist who provides expert advice on complex criminal cases or private investigations. Here's a brief overview of what this role entails in the real world:

Nature of Work

The job of the modern consulting detective is highly tailored. Our bespoke services do everything but the actual investigation. We create strategies the meet the needs of our clients.

  • Expert Analysis: Providing specialized knowledge and investigative skills to unravel complex cases, often beyond the scope of traditional law enforcement methods.

  • Highly Experienced Advisors: We have advised CEOs, private clients, entrepreneurs and celebrities for over 30 years.

  • Case Review: Consulting detectives may be called upon to review evidence, offer a second opinion, or provide a new perspective on cold cases or ongoing investigations.

Consulting Detective Services Offered

  • Private Investigations: Handling private matters that require discretion and specialized investigative skills, such as missing persons cases, background checks, or corporate investigations, malfeasance, .

  • Legal Support: Assisting law firms in gathering evidence, preparing for trials, or offering expert testimony in court cases.

  • Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Sometimes, Baker Street™ work alongside police or other government agencies, providing expert insights on specific aspects of investigations.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Investigative Skills: Strong investigative skills, including the ability to analyze and synthesize information, conduct interviews, and perform surveillance.

  • Legal Knowledge: Understanding of the legal system and procedures, especially in collecting and handling evidence that could be used in legal proceedings.

  • Technical Expertise: Proficiency in using modern technology and forensic methods, which can be crucial in solving complex cases.

Reality vs. Fiction

  • While the idea of a consulting detective is romanticized in literature and media, the real-world role is more grounded and less dramatic. It involves a lot of methodical, detailed work, and the outcomes might not always be as swift or conclusive as depicted in fiction.

Comparing the Roles of Consultant Vs. Private Investigator

When comparing the roles and benefits of a consulting detective versus a private detective, it's important to consider the differences in their operational dynamics, expertise, and particularly their financial interests. Here's an overview highlighting these distinctions:

Consulting Detective

Objective Analysis: A key advantage of a consulting detective is their lack of vested financial interest in the outcome of a case. This objectivity can lead to a more unbiased analysis and conclusion, as their primary focus is on solving the puzzle or providing expert insight rather than on the profitability of the case.

Specialized Expertise: Consulting detectives often possess specialized knowledge or skills in certain areas, making them particularly valuable for complex or unusual cases.

Collaborative Approach: They frequently work alongside law enforcement or legal teams, offering a complementary perspective that can enhance the overall investigative process.

Flexibility in Engagement: Consulting detectives can be engaged on a case-by-case basis, providing flexibility and expertise as needed without the commitment of a full-time investigator.

Diverse Experience: Their experience often spans a wide range of cases, contributing to a broad understanding and approach to problem-solving.

Private Detective

Financial Interest: Private detectives typically operate on a fee-for-service basis. This financial interest might, in some cases, influence the manner or the extent to which they pursue a case. When you call a private investigator, you are depending on them in giving you the right direction both in strategy and in pricing. A consulting detective will tell you what you should pay and ask for. Likely saving you money and frustration with poor results.

Focused Investigation: Private detectives are often hired for specific tasks such as surveillance, background checks, and gathering evidence for private matters. Their approach is usually more focused and tailored to the client's immediate needs.

Client-Centric Services: They provide a range of services directly to individual clients, often involving personal or sensitive matters that require discretion and confidentiality.

Long-Term Commitment: Private detectives might work on a case for an extended period, providing ongoing services that can be crucial for complex personal or legal matters.

Practical Solutions: Their work is often more hands-on and practical, dealing with the day-to-day aspects of investigation and evidence gathering.

Comparative Advantages

  • Objectivity vs. Outcome-Oriented: The consulting detective’s lack of financial interest in the outcome of a case can ensure a more objective viewpoint, whereas a private detective's approach might be more outcome-oriented, focusing on delivering specific results for their clients.

  • Expert Insight vs. Practical Application: Consulting detectives offer high-level expert insight, which is beneficial in complex or puzzling cases. In contrast, private detectives excel in the practical application of investigative techniques in more straightforward or personal cases.

  • Collaboration vs. Client Relationship: Consulting detectives often work in collaboration with official agencies or legal teams, bringing a broad perspective to a case, while private detectives maintain a direct, ongoing relationship with their clients, focusing on their specific needs and privacy.


Both consulting detectives and private investigators offer valuable services, but their approaches and benefits differ significantly. A Baker Street  consulting detective’s objectivity and specialized expertise make them ideal for complex, unusual, or high-stakes cases requiring a broad and unbiased perspective. On the other hand, a private detective’s focused, client-centric approach is well-suited for personal or specific investigative needs, where a direct financial relationship and outcome-oriented strategy are pivotal. The choice between the two should be guided by the nature of the case, the type of expertise required, and the desired outcome.


In summary, while the term "consulting detective" might evoke images of Sherlock Holmes, the real-life profession is essentially a form of private investigation requiring a high level of expertise, analytical skills, and often a legal understanding. The role involves a combination of experience, research, and collaboration with various clients, including legal professionals and sometimes law enforcement agencies.

We believe 85% of clients would strongly benefit from making Baker Street™  their first stop in having an investigation performed. Objective strategies is what we are all about, and our services are not tainted by over exaggerated billing or playing secret squirrel with our tactics.


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