At 29 years old, Mike Spencer moved from Florida back to the San Francisco Bay Area in late 1994. He realized that he wasn’t going to achieve his dream job as a newspaper reporter for a major daily paper. He had a cheap apartment, a pantry of rice and beans and a $500 1970s Dodge Dart that worked, sometimes. One day he answered a help-wanted ad in the Oakland Tribune for a workers’ compensation claims investigator. He never looked back, though he has thrashed many more cars in his two-decade career as a private dick.
Spencer’s book is part memoir, part trove of lurid true cases. Spencer, who has a degree from UC-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, tells his stories with a journalist’s eye for facts and details. Tales of love, death, justice, deceit, comedy and vengeance spill from his short, accessible, and compelling book.
Private Eye Confidential displays both the best and worst of human nature. Private investigators see everything, and Spencer has encountered a man who wanted to prove his paternity from a frozen tampon, a man hidden from society while a large fortune awaited, and a grieving mother who wanted to make sure her tragedy didn’t occur again. The book also contains cheating husbands, felonious wrestlers, some hidden Florida crime, and inveterate scammers.
“Say good-bye to worn-out shamus cliches like trench coats and saps, and say hello to the real deal, PI Mike Spencer, who takes you on a PRIVATE EYE CONFIDENTIAL tour of those mean streets with humor, insight, and grit.”
– Colleen Collins, best-selling author How Do Private Eyes Do That?
“Mike Spencer goes out of his way to say the real life of a PI isn’t nearly as exciting as they make it seem in the movies. He then spends the next hundred or so pages describing a life a helluva lot more exciting than yours or mine. From being a bagman, to caught in the middle of a murder, Spencer, with a wry, self-deprecating sense of humor, describes the day-to-day existence of the profession that spawned a hundred heroes, from Marlowe to Spade. And Spencer is a worthy addition to that lineage. The main thing that comes through his insightful and hilarious Private Eye Confidential: Stories from a Real PI: men like this are not made; they are born this way.”
Joe Clifford, author of the Jay Porter Thriller Series