But, take into consideration that Sherlock Holmes has existed for well over a century. How many characters are still discussed in detail long after the pen has left the paper? There are very few that have earned such a privilege. This is probably where the old nickname of Gum Shoe comes from. It takes a lot of shoe leather to track down leads. Make sure you understand the rates up front and do as much of the legwork you can yourself so you can present your detective with a sufficient amount of leads and information to go off to begin their end of the search. Once you've gotten some information about the caller, search their name over the internet. Search engines nowadays can be very resourceful in finding company websites, names and also phone numbers. You can ask the caller to call you back in awhile, while you go through the information you found over the internet. If you are still uncertain, ring up the number of the company and ask if there is such person working in their company.the reader must decide that for him or herself. If one were to poll the general public and ask them to name a famous detective in literature the most common name that would be given would still be that of Sherlock Holmes. Is this simply because the name is so unusual or is this because the character has welded himself into the mind of the reader forever? Unfortunately, there is no answer to that question; Another thing to consider is the price to accomplish the job you need completed. Private detectives pay to have access to records to help them find people and they know the shortcuts so they don't waste time and resources on dead ends. With that being said however, what you are ultimately paying for is his or her time and that is what it can take sometimes to locate someone or solve a problem.