7 reasons Sherlock Holmes is actually a terrible private eye

We all love a good detective story, and Sherlock Holmes is arguably one of the most famous. Eccentric, genius, and always right, it’s great fun to watch him solve case after case. However, if we’re talking real life, he would be the last person you’d want to hire! Here’s a list of all the things you didn’t realise Sherlock is doing wrong…

1. He doesn’t remain objective
Holmes loves to insert himself into his case. He gets involved, getting to know the people and situations very intimately. While it’s great to be passionate about the reason for your investigation, it’s absolutely essential to remain impartial. If you are after the truth, you need to remain an objective third party observer. Otherwise you will look for evidence to support your theory, rather than objectively reporting on what the truth really is.

2. He influences the outcome
One of the hallmarks of a good private eye is the ability to observe and investigate without being noticed. Interviewing people, revealing details of the case, setting people up and trying to cause people to act or not act a certain way; this is great for driving a plot along. However, it’s terrible if your objective is to find out what is really happening.

3. He often goes against his client’s’ wishes
While he means well, Sherlock Holmes has a very clear idea about what his client needs and what they should want, and this doesn’t always line up with their wishes! It’s the client’s right to decide how far they want to take a case. A good detective will follow the brief and check in with the client at all times to see how they’d like the investigation to progress. Mr Holmes, on the other hand, just goes with what he thinks is best, client wishes be damned! Terrible business practice, really.

4. He breaks the law
No brainer. If you break the law, you’re infringing on someone else’s right (usually to privacy). A good private investigator know how to run surveillance within the bounds of the law, making sure that all information obtained is legal and admissible in any court or legal setting should you need it.

5. He tries to resolve the situation
Sherlock Holmes always wins the case. But that’s a real problem. In real life, having a third party come in and meddle in people’s business trying to ‘fix things’ usually ends quite badly. A private eye is there to investigate the case and hand the facts over to the client. It’s certainly not his job to act as mediator or problem solver. He’s there to find the facts, not change them!

6. He treats his employees poorly
This is just basic business sense, but especially crucial in a business that’s all about trust. By treating watson so poorly, Holmes takes away his ability to do his job properly. While it always works out in the end, in real life, all you’ll do is drive staff away and compromise your clients’ investigations.

7. He doesn’t keep records
Yes, we all know Sherlock Holmes is a genius. But you can’t use ‘trust me, I know’ as evidence of anything, no matter who you are! While keeping logs, photos, videos and very detailed notes and case files may be boring, it’s essential to performing due diligence and to hand over a trustworthy and usable report of the results of the investigation at the end.

If you think you’d like a proper detective to find out the truth, please call us today to speak with one of our discreet, experienced and professional detectives. Give us a call on 1300 721 715 or email If you’d rather a fun show about an eccentric genius, then Sherlock is definitely your guy. If you can get a hold of him, let us know!