223+ Detective Names (BEST Ideas To Help Solve Your Mystery)

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Whether you’re a video game developer, novel writer, or TV show creator, you may need to think of some detective names if you’re going to work in the crime genre.

You don’t want to just choose a random detective name; you want to find the perfect one. Lucky for you, we’ve created this complete guide to hundreds of naming ideas for detective characters.

Follow along as we explore some of the best detective name options, from random names to fictional ones, cute ones, funny ones, and many others. 

Best Detective Names

Some of the best names for detectives draw on creative means and inspiration from fictional detectives of the past.

These first 25 different names for detectives are some of the catchiest, coolest, and all-around best when it comes to naming characters in your stories, shows, and games.

  1. Sherlock Holmes 
  2. Mr. Watson 
  3. Encyclopedia P. Brown
  4. P.I. Vigilante 
  5. Hawkeye 
  6. Eagle Eye 
  7. The Magnifier 
  8. The Nose 
  9. Mr. Clue
  10. Inspector Clouseau
  11. Ms. A. Christie
  12. Mr. A. Christie 
  13. The Quiet P.I. 
  14. J.J. Stealthfoot 
  15. Mr. Discovery 
  16. Ms. Discovery 
  17. G.E. Spotter
  18. The Lens 
  19. The Eye 
  20. Magnum, P.I. 
  21. Roger Pointer 
  22. Agnes Pointer 
  23. Justice Finder 
  24. Agatha Lovelace 
  25. Oswald Lovelace 

Good Names For A Detective

These next detective monikers are fairly commonplace when compared to the more unique ones on this list.

These next 25 names have the classic sound and feel that you want for a detective character in a good crime novel.

  1. Lady Peabody 
  2. Mister Peabody
  3. The Savvy Sleuth 
  4. Doctor Detective 
  5. Ms. Franny Maxwell
  6. Jessica Steele 
  7. Henry Sparks 
  8. Detective Alan Sawyer
  9. Lady Skinner
  10. Sir Skinner 
  11. Shirley Holmes 
  12. Madame Watson 
  13. Zack Burns 
  14. Vera Seeker 
  15. Lenny Mason 
  16. Agatha Seeks
  17. Agnes Finders
  18. Lady Lens 
  19. Maggie N. Fire
  20. Jason Wolfe 
  21. Mary Winbottom
  22. Alison Sparks 
  23. Janet Sharpe 
  24. Gus Caine 
  25. Roger Wright 

Cute Names For A Detective

Believe it or not, there may be some instances where you would need a detective moniker that is cutesy. Think about it, there are shows and books geared towards children, such as Scooby Doo, that involve crime and detective work. 

If you need a cutesy name for a detective, you might consider trying out one of the following options. 

  1. Little Miss Private Eye 
  2. The Teeny Tiny Detective
  3. Tiny, P.I. 
  4. Lil P.I. 
  5. The Modern Hardy Boy
  6. The Modern Nancy Drew
  7. Lil Sleuth
  8. Lil Snoopy
  9. Little Hawkshaw
  10. Young Sherlock 
  11. Young Watson 
  12. Little Girl Clue 
  13. Little Boy Clue 
  14. The Little Caseworker
  15. Sally Peabody
  16. Timmy Peabody 
  17. Little Enigma 
  18. The Pink P.I. 
  19. Private Patsy 
  20. Private Pat
  21. The Crime Pup
  22. Lil Investigator 
  23. Baby Spy
  24. Baby Sleuth
  25. Baby Sneak

Funny Detective Names

In case you’re creating a Dungeons and Dragons campaign or short story that needs a goofy detective character, you might try a funny detective moniker.

These following 25-name ideas should help you brainstorm until you land on the right one. Some of them even use puns to generate a laugh!

  1. Gene Yuss
  2. Private Dick
  3. Justin Case
  4. Ineda Clew
  5. Casey Closed
  6. Peter Gunnslinger
  7. Gray Noir 
  8. Justice Seacker
  9. P.I. Gray
  10. Tom Barnaby 
  11. Nancy Droop
  12. Amelia Peabody
  13. The Bulldog 
  14. Ace Mann
  15. John Smart
  16. Jenny Smart 
  17. Samantha Nosee
  18. Jeremy Snoope
  19. Blythe Glass
  20. Magney Fier
  21. Janet Eagle 
  22. Alley Waze
  23. Sarah Spyer
  24. Mister E. 
  25. E. Nigma 

Unique Detective Names

These detective monikers are guaranteed to be some of the most unique because they’re generated randomly using words related to detectives.

Try these names in your stories for a more original option.

  1. Clive Jordan 
  2. Fiona Frost
  3. Kate Cross
  4. Andrew Sharpe
  5. William Watson
  6. Larry Snow
  7. Hal Parker
  8. Merle Lawyer
  9. Avery Dixon
  10. Elza Locke 
  11. Agnes Abbott
  12. Jon Cross
  13. Oscar Darwin
  14. Sid Gunn
  15. Blake Knight
  16. Harley Murray
  17. Skyler Robinson
  18. Ruth Burn
  19. Christie Finn
  20. Irene Seals
  21. Lars Lambert
  22. Don fox
  23. Lynn Knott
  24. Lara Price 
  25. Vivian Lee

Cool Names For A Detective

Detectives are known for having amazing traits that help them to play it cool, like being stealth, quick-witted, intelligent, and quiet. That’s why it may help to have a cool detective name when you write up your next character.

These 25 names for a detective are sure to make readers/viewers of your story want to emulate the detective you are portraying.

  1. T. E. Shadow 
  2. Winifred Spye 
  3. Harper Lightfoot
  4. Harley Hush
  5. Brock P.I.
  6. Det. Jones
  7. Jack Hudson
  8. Duke Jones 
  9. Arthur Braintree
  10. Wilson Waterford 
  11. Harlan Duke
  12. Valley Cluse 
  13. Beryl Sleuth 
  14. Michael Burn
  15. David Roth
  16. Jenna Knight
  17. Meg Burnham
  18. Aurora Westover 
  19. Brynn Graves
  20. Nora King
  21. Kat Donovan
  22. Claire Woods
  23. Harry Woolf
  24. Sam Jordan
  25. Sean Maxwell

Badass Names For A Detective

Some detective monikers need to carry a little more edge and weight to them. This is especially true if you’re trying to create a particularly menacing or powerful detective character in your graphic novel or book, for example.

The below names lean into traits badass-ery, such as the keen abilities to hunt, seek, and find clues.

  1. Bridget Lovelace 
  2. Vesper, P.I. 
  3. Agent Beatrix Abbott 
  4. Detective Duke Jones 
  5. Jack Sleuth-Hound
  6. P.I. Hawkshaw 
  7. Sherlock Zones
  8. Benjamin Bogey 
  9. Snooper, P.I. 
  10. Shamus, Private Detective 
  11. Mister Gumshoe
  12. DI Sleuth 
  13. The Hunter
  14. The Finder
  15. He Who Sees All
  16. She Who Sees All
  17. Dexter, P.I. 
  18. Sue Lawyer 
  19. Jack Burns 
  20. DCI Quietfoot
  21. Mr. Inquiry 
  22. The Sniffer 
  23. The Bounty Hunter 
  24. The Operative
  25. Code Name, P.I. 

Famous Detective Names

From your favorite crime TV shows to blockbuster films and Agatha Christie books, the following fiction detectives are famous.

These names are both iconic and catchy, given that they’ve earned reputations over time.

  1. Burt Macklin (F.B.I.) – detective character on Parks and Recreation 
  2. Nancy Drew – famous girl sleuth from Nancy Drew book series
  3. Joe Hardy – one of the Hardy boys from the Hardy Boys book series 
  4. Frank Hardy – one of the Hardy boys from the Hardy Boys book series
  5. Sherlock Holmes – famous detective in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novels
  6. Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick
  7. Enola Holmes – girl detective in TV series of the same name
  8. Hercule Poirot – the detective in an Agatha Christie novel
  9. Jessica Fletcher – detective/writer in the TV show Murder, She Wrote 
  10. Veronica Mars – the detective in the TV series of the same name 
  11. Miss Marple – the detective in an Agatha Christie novel 
  12. Luther – the detective in a TV show of the same name 
  13. Velma Dinkley – one of the members of the Scooby Doo crew 
  14. Clarice Starling – detective/protagonist in the movie Silence of the Lambs 
  15. Olivia Benson – lead detective character in the TV show Law ; Order: SVU
  16. Jake Gittes – detective character in the movie Chinatown
  17. Thomas Magnum – detective in Magnum, P.I. TV series
  18. Dale Cooper – FBI agent in TV show Twin Peaks 
  19. fox Mulder – FBI agent in TV show The X-Files 
  20. Dana Scully – FBI agent in TV show The X-Files 
  21. Frank Columbo – character on Columbo TV series
  22. Dirty Harry – inspector from the film of the same name 
  23. C. Auguste Dupin – a detective character in Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories
  24. Philip Marlowe – a fictional detective in crime magazines such as Black Mask 
  25. Jim Rockford – the detective in the TV series The Rockford Files 

Real-Life Detective Names

Although there are many detectives in our favorite crime books and movies, there are plenty more in real life.

The next 25 detectives pursued careers as law enforcers, private investigators, private eyes, and related jobs in countries all over the world.

  1. Ellis Parker
  2. Izzy Einstein
  3. Allan Pinkerton
  4. Kate Warne
  5. Jules Maigret
  6. Moe Smith
  7. Marcel Guillaume
  8. Johnny Broderick
  9. J. Edgar Hoover
  10. Ignatius Paul Pollaky 
  11. Dave Toschi
  12. Roger Rogerson 
  13. William E. Fairbairn
  14. Jay J. Armes 
  15. Francois Vidocq
  16. Alice Clement 
  17. Mary Doyle 
  18. William J. Burns
  19. Paul Holes
  20. William J. Flynn
  21. Raymond C. Schindler 
  22. V.I. Warshawski
  23. Viktor Burakov
  24. Eliot Ness
  25. Robert Peel

Detective Naming Tips

Landing on a good detective name requires some patience. You want to consider several factors, such as the crime subgenre you’re working in, the target audience of your character, the character’s personality, and more.

For example, if you want to create a detective character for an animated children’s TV show, the name must not be for mature audiences. The name should be friendly and possibly even on the cute side, depending on how young the audience is.

Or, if you’re creating a detective name for a character who is highly intelligent, you might include a relevant word in the name. For example, a smarty-pants detective could be named Smartweather, P.I.

Otherwise, here are some useful tips that may help you to pick out the ideal name for your personal use:

  • Make sure to be original with your name, as many detective monikers are repurposed throughout media
  • Use a detective name generator, such as one on a fantasy website 
  • Draw inspiration from detective or investigator characters that you know and love
  • Draw on physical characteristics and personality traits to name your detective 


The above detective name ideas cover a wide range of options – from the funny and silly to the seriously cool, badass, cute, and unique. By using random detective name generators and researching some of the most famous real and fictional detectives, we compiled this list. 

Hopefully, reading through has helped inspire you to name your very own detective character, whether it’s in a book, movie, or TV project. A character who does good detective work surely deserves a good name as well.

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