You have an AmateurSleuth or an ExoticDetective. And to prove just how smart he is, not only can he solve any case just by scanning the crime scene, he can also solve crimes without ever having to visit the scene. The Phone-In Detective is the detective who is able to do some of his sleuthing over the phone due to being away for some reason. Full time Phone-In Detectives are rare, often the detectives will only have to phone in very few of their cases their whole life and will only do so for special cases. It is not completely necessary for any phones to be involved, however.

Will sometimes be the only interaction the lead has in a LowerDeckEpisode.

Not to be confused with detectives who are "phoning it in", ie doing an incredibly lazy half-assed job.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheBoneCollector''. Quadriplegic forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) uses police officer Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) as his eyes and ears to catch a serial killer.
* In ''Film/{{Copycat}}'', Dr. Helen Hudson is a respected field expert on serial killers who has become an agrophobic shut-in after being attacked by serial killer Daryll Lee Callum. When a new series of murders spread fear and panic across San Francisco, Inspector M.J. Monahan and her partner Reuben Goetz solicit Helen's expertise. Initially reluctant, Helen soon finds herself drawn into the warped perpetrator's game of wits.
* Early in ''Film/SherlockHolmes'', the titular character hasn't left the flat for months after capturing [[BigBad Lord Blackwood]] having no interesting cases. Watson tries to get him interested in some cases, only for Holmes to brush him off having already solved them with the information in the letters alone.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Literature/SherlockHolmes
** Mycroft Holmes, though even more gifted than his brother in observation and deduction, "has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble of proving himself right."
** Also Sherlock's primary MO for the majority of his 'Consulting Detective' commissions: the reader generally only hears about the ones interesting enough for him to bestir himself, but many stories open with Holmes ranting about how the lack of decent crime has once again reduced him to pathetic challenges he can resolve from his armchair.
*** And remember that Holmes could still manage a lot of those cases in his career, [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis but given Watson is the guy who publishes Holmes's cases]], [[FridgeBrilliance it only makes sense that he publishes the most interesting cases (when Holmes does something) rather than those that could be solved by phone, or telegraph or consult or whatever]].
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's C. August Dupin solved ''The Murder of Marie Roget'' by reading newspaper accounts.
* Literature/EncyclopediaBrown sometimes, especially when solving cases for his father over dinner.
* Literature/NeroWolfe who rarely left his brownstone, having Archie Goodwin act as his leg man and collect all the information he needed to solve the crime.
** And Nero Wolfe had an {{Expy}} in the ''Literature/LordDarcy'' stories: Darcy's cousin the Marquis of London. As brilliant a mind as Darcy, but lazy (and cheap). So much so that he once had Darcy's assistant Master Sean arrested for murder so Darcy would be forced to solve the crime in order to prove his innocence.
*** Darcy countered by proving that the most likely suspect was Lord Bontriomphe, the Marquis's personal assistant (the Goodwin expy).
** Parodied in ''Literature/TheAreasOfMyExpertise'' with a detective who never leaves his bathtub.
* Literature/HerculePoirot once solved a crime without leaving his room for a bet. No phone was involved though, he just asked for police reports (and used his friend Hastings to run errands). On another occasion he was in bed with flu, and contacted Hastings at the scene via telegram.
* The Argentine detective Don Isidro Parodi, created by Creator/JorgeLuisBorges and Adolfo Bioy Casares under the pen name H. Bustos Domecq, is a man unjustly imprisoned whom friends (and friends of friends) come visit at his cell with stories about mysteries and crimes, which he never fails to solve just by listening to their reports.
** Don Isidro [[MeaningfulName Parodi]] is a DeconstructiveParody of this (and many others mysteries) tropes combined with a juvenalian {{Satire}} of Argentinean society: All the ''"friends"'' who consult him are truly {{Jerkass}}es whom could not care less about Parodiís MiscarriageOfJustice [[GovernmentConspiracy being falsely accused and judged by]] a KangarooCourt [[FrameUp only to save a]] SleazyPolitician mook (TruthInTelevision in all LatinAmerica). Itís implied that all the consultants have enough intellect to discover the crime for themselves, but they canít because they are {{Hypocrite}}s who donít want to face the truth about themselves. One of the consultants lampshades [[DefectiveDetective that an imprisoned man could not be the right person to solve crimes,]] [[HypocriticalHumor only to immediately explain Parodi his case]]. One third of the cases Parodi gets the consultants try to make him his DetectivePatsy, [[DudeWheresMyReward no one pays him]] or try to [[ClearMyName ClearHisName]], and given his situation as everyoneís ButtMonkey, the only triumphs he has is to be the DoomedMoralVictor and tries to make things ForHappiness.
* Henry, of Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Black Widowers'' mysteries, can solve any mystery after hearing it described over dinner.
* Another Asimovian detective, Wendell Urth, was so afraid of travelling that he, like Literature/NeroWolfe, worked almost entirely from home.
* ''The Old Man in the Corner'' stories by the Baroness Orczy, creator of Literature/TheScarletPimpernel. A classic armchair detective, the Old Man relies mostly upon sensationalistic "penny dreadful" newspaper accounts, with the occasional courtroom visit. He narrates all this information, while tying complicated knots in a piece of string, to a female Journalist who frequents the same tea-shop (the ABC Teashop on the corner of Norfolk Street and the Strand). They enjoy an antagonistic relationship, as the Journalist attempts to cut the Old Man's ego down to size and the Old Man trumps her every time.
* Creator/AgathaChristie had Literature/TommyAndTuppence solve one case in the style of the Old Man in the Corner in ''Partners in Crime''.
* In ''Literature/TheRomanMysteries'', KidDetective Flavia solves several mysteries this way in some of the short stories, though in the regular novels she generally investigates mysteries on the scene.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The title character of the Series/{{ITV}} series ''Series/TheManInRoom17'' was a sociologist who consulted on difficult police cases and solved them without ever leaving his office.
* Series/{{Monk}} once solved a hit and run by reading a newspaper. Then he solved a murder in ''France'' that was reported in the same newspaper and phoned the French police department about his revelation.
** In direct parallel with Sherlock Holmes, we have Adrian's much smarter brother Ambrose, who never leaves his house. Unlike Mycroft's laziness, Ambrose is severely agoraphobic.
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'': Shawn began his crime-solving career by reporting anonymous tips to the police through the phone based off observations he made watching news reports.
* Series/{{House}}, the medical detective, once had to solve a case through the phone while at the airport. Another case was solved over a webcam since the patient was stuck in Antarctica. Even in normal circumstances, he often can't be bothered to talk to the patient, and phones in a diagnosis via his underlings.
* The Fat Man of ''Series/JakeAndTheFatMan''?
* Patrick Jane of ''Series/TheMentalist'' once spent most of an episode in prison and ''still'' solved the case. One memorable trick: knowing Rigsby was on his way to interview a suspect, Jane phoned the suspect using Rigsby's name and insulted him, provoking the suspect to attack Rigsby and get himself arrested... and put in the same prison as Jane, who could then talk to him in person.
* Arkady Balagan in ''Series/{{Endgame}}'' suffers from agoraphobia, and refuses to leave his hotel. So he has Sam, and various hotel staff members, do his legwork for him.
* Series/{{Sherlock}} Holmes, during "A Scandal in Belgravia", solved a case via webcam, which gave him a few quick glances at the crime scene. While wearing nothing but a bedsheet.
--> '''Irene Adler:''' You got all that from one look? Definitely the new sexy.
** When he meets Mycroft at the Buckingham Palace, Mycroft tells him that he glanced at the case file and tells Holmes that the solution is obvious.
* In an episode of ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger,'' Sen was able to solve the mystery via the others describing the room they were in even though he was miles away (and ''in the villain's DeathTrap.'')
* An extreme case in ''Series/{{Quincy}}'' where not only was our hero in a hospital bed but a coma. Done by his friends asking themselves "what would Quincy do?", with some of their answers verging on telepathy.
* ''Series/DeathInParadise'': In "An Unhelpful Aid", DI Poole is able to solve a murder while lying delirious in his sickbed, being fed information by Dwayne and Fidel.

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[[folder: Manga and Anime ]]

* The manga ''Manga/{{Remote}}'' was about such a detective--he'd developed agoraphobia, so was assigned a young policewoman with a two-way radio who did the leg work.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': L has been in hiding his entire career, and communicates via phone, computer and his intermediary Watari, emerging only on special occasions for particularly complex crimes [[spoiler: or particularly helpful assistants]].
* Victorique from ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}'' isn't allowed to leave the Academy until later in the story, so she often solves crimes based on descriptions of the circumstances given to her by witnesses.
* Shinchi from ''DetectiveConan'' pretends to be this sometimes when Conan reveals the answer to a case, but is actually there at the crime scene himself (as Conan).
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