-> ''"Coming This Fall: Some cops can read minds... Some cops can see the past... And some cops get help from angels... But there's still one cop with no special abilities whatsoever. Detective Klaus Mandela is... ''The Finder Outer!"
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''

The Exotic Detective is a detective who has some unusual quality that is important to their personality. While being a private detective is an unusual profession to most people, an Exotic Detective is one that has some very exotic trait that almost defines them. This will often take the form of a [[DefectiveDetective major character flaw]] of some kind.

This falls into two broad subtypes:
# The detective has an odd trait (such as a strange sickness or an unusual profession or background) that is "exotic" both to readers and to other characters. (For example, TV's Series/{{Monk}}, who [[DefectiveDetective has OCD and multiple phobias]].) Sometimes their background will be used to justify their crimefighting skills (as with Creator/GKChesterton's Literature/FatherBrown who noted that priests had a lot of experience with sin from hearing confessions all day).
# The detective is seen as ordinary by other characters; their "exotic" trait is that they exist in a setting that is unfamiliar to readers or regarded as an unusual setting for a detective story. (For example, Literature/BrotherCadfael, a medieval monk who solves crimes, or Yashim in Jason Goodwin's ''The Janissary Tree'', who is a Court Eunuch in the last days of the Ottoman Empire.)

!Common Types
* DefectiveDetective
* KidDetective
* LittleOldLadyInvestigates
* MagicianDetective
* OccultDetective
* VampireDetectiveSeries

See also BunnyEarsLawyer, AmateurSleuth, and InterdisciplinarySleuth.



* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Conan is a a TeenGenius-turned-[[KidDetective pre-Teen Genius]].
* L from ''Manga/DeathNote''. Pretty much everything about him, from the way his face looks, to the way he sits, to the way he picks things up, is just a little bit off.
* Neuro from ''Manga/MajinTanteiNougamiNeuro'' is a demon detective. His only motivation for finding and solving mysteries is so he can then "consume" them to feed his "hunger".


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** The [[Franchise/TheDCU DC Verse]] has a lot of these, eg ComicBook/TheQuestion, [[Film/{{Constantine}} John Constantine]]
** More in line with the general idea of the trope, back when mystery comics enjoyed some modest popularity, DC published stories featuring Detective Chimp, scientific investigator Darwin Jones, Roy Raymond: TV Detective, nautical detective Captain Compass, and occult debunker Dr. Thirteen.
* A fair number of superheroes also like to have detectives as their alter ego, e.g. ComicBook/MartianManhunter, ComicBook/TheSpectre, etc.
* The Franchise/GreenLantern Corps is the police for the universe, and they're all green.
* MarvelUniverse Exotic Detectives appear to be grouped by area of expertise (i.e. powers.)
** Comicbook/DoctorStrange is the mystic/magic detective.
** [[IronMan Tony Stark]] and [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]] take care of any "hard" science mysteries on the west and east coasts, respectively.
** Alien races tend to take care of medical mysteries through advanced science.
** [[ComicBook/XMen Charles Xavier]] is the psychic detective (as in one who investigates mysterious psychic attacks, not as in investigating arbitrary mysteries using psychic powers.)
** Nearly every time traveler is involved in a mystery about why their past is different from the current past. (e.g. the time traveling detective.)
* Detectives in ''ComicBook/SinCity'' are never normal.



* ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective''.
* ''Film/{{DOA}}'': The fella has to [[WhodunnitToMe solve his own murder]]! While he's still alive!


* Historical mysteries starring eunuch detectives are a thing.
** The long-running "John the Lord Chamberlain" series about a top-ranking eunuch in the Byzantine court is the UrExample.
** The 1998 novel ''Scherzo'' by Jim Williams features an eccentric man of letters (who may or may not be Creator/{{Voltaire}}) investigating a murder in Venice with a failed castrato singer as his impromptu sidekick.
** The Literature/YashimSeries by Jason Goodwin about a eunuch in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire in the 1830s-40s.
** The Tito Amato series by Beverle Graves Myers about a Venetian castrato singer in eighteenth-century Italy.
** The latest addition to this sub-genre: the Atto Melani books by Rita Monaldi and Francesco Sorti, about a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atto_Melani real-life]] Italian castrato who served as a diplomat and spy for the King of France in the late seventeenth century. He's actually the SupportingProtagonist, however - the narrator is his dwarf sidekick from Rome.
* ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', he's a [[DemBones walking skeleton]] who's [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld hundreds of years old]] and has ElementalPowers.
* ''Literature/HerculePoirot'', an extremely eccentric FunnyForeigner. Also within the books, Ariadne Oliver's [[ShowWithinAShow Finnish detective]]. She then loudly complains to Hercule that [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall she wishes she had never invented him]], because she knows nothing about Finland and people are constantly writing to her to tell her that Finns don't do that.
* The protagonists of ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose'': detectives in a medieval monastary.
* ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'', especially if you consider what he's like when he isn't a detective.
* The Persian in ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' is so defined by his nationality that he has no other name given.
* Literature/LordPeterWimsey, who is an English aristocrat who detects for a hobby.
* ''Literature/SanoIchiro'': Sano Ichiro himself, who's the personal Samurai Detective for the shogun in the [[JidaiGeki Edo period]] of Japan.
* Lord Meren is the Eyes of Pharaoh, a nobleman and royal spymaster in the court of Tutanhkamun.
* ''Literature/AmeliaPeabody'' and Radcliffe Emerson, Egyptologists who detect because their path is littered with the bodies of murdered tomb robbers, spies, etc.
* ''The Jane Austen Mysteries'', which have -- well, Creator/JaneAusten as a detective. It's surprisingly believable.
* CharlieChan, in the novels of Earl Derr Biggers and later in a long-running film series, was set apart by his Chinese origin and -- in the movies -- his brood of [[TagAlongKid meddlesome comic-relief offspring]]. The 1930s saw at least two other superficially similar Asian detective characters, John P. Marquand's Mr. Moto and Hugh Wiley's Mr. Wong. Both of them had film adaptations as well.
* ''The Howling Detective'' written by Gate Dragon for 2008's [=NaNoWriMo=]. A werewolf private investigator operating in a FantasyKitchenSink version of Detroit, MI and taking jobs from both {{Muggles}} and other "mythical" folk.
* Eric Garcia's ''Anonymous Rex'' series of novels, mysteries based in a world on the premise that the dinosaurs didn't die out and are living among us in secret. Starring Velociraptor sleuth Vincent Rubio.
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden,]] wizard PI and crazy-awesome badass.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov
** R. Daneel Olivaw is a robot detective
** [[MeaningfulName Wendell Urth]], an extremely agoraphobic detective who solved cases brought to his attention without ever leaving his home. For added exoticness, the crimes themselves often occurred in space!
* Literature/NeroWolfe is slightly less of a shut-in, but extremely reluctant to leave his home. Which is also home to a collection of rare orchids.
* Boris Akunin's ''Literature/SisterPelagia'' one-ups all your clerical detectives by being a late 19th century Russian Orthodox ''nun'' (and a church school teacher to boot). Did I mention that she is assisted and supervised by a ''[[DaChief bishop]]''?
* Literature/SisterFidelma in the books by Peter Tremayne is a 7th century Celtic Church nun, who is also a lawyer of the Irish courts. Oh, and she's a member of the Munster royal family, and married (the Celtic Church allowed this) to her [[TheWatson Watson]], a Saxon.
** There's also Brehon Mara of the Burren in western Ireland, circa 1509 -- who uses the same laws as Fidelma in a society that by that period was about to be supplemented by England.
* Literature/LordDarcy, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche in a world of magic.
* Glen Cook's Garrett, whose name is almost certainly a ShoutOut to Literature/LordDarcy author Randall Garrett.
* ''Literature/ErastFandorin'': Erast, especially after his first three books, fulfills ''both'' types of this trope. From the point of view of a modern reader he's in an alien setting (nineteenth-century Russia), and from the point of view of his contemporaries he's unusual because of the time he spent in Japan and the way it influenced him.
* Thomas Carnacki of ''Literature/CarnackiTheGhostFinder''.
* Alan Gordon's "Fools Guild" mysteries, beginning with "The Thirteenth Night", feature Theopolis, a jester during the 12th century. Theopolis was in fact Feste, the fool from [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare's]] "The Twelfth Night".
* Creator/GKChesterton's Father Brown is a crime-solving Catholic priest, as is Ralph [=McInerny=]'s Father Dowling.
* Literature/MarcusDidiusFalco, a HardboiledDetective in AncientRome.
* ''The Hangman's Daughter'' by Oliver Potzch about a detective who is the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin daughter of]] [[CreepyGood a hangman]]. The author was the descendant of a family of executioners who wished to stick up [[ThickerThanWater for his ancestors]] and remind us that they were human.
* The titular character of the Literature/MediochreQSethSeries is a professional catcher of illegal monster-slayers who can [[AwesomenessByAnalysis calculate exact probabilities on the fly]], and is also stuck with a HealingFactor that [[CantGrowUp won't let him age past fifteen]].
* The Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series by Creator/TonyHillerman would have originally come across as this. It's about detectives on the Navajo Tribal Police force who investigate crimes on the reservation. Thanks to Hillerman's [[TropeCodifier influence]], however, the Native American detective novel is today a popular subgenre.
* Hillerman himself was influenced by the Literature/{{Bony}} series, about an Australian half-Aboriginal detective.
* The Karen Harper's Queen Elizabeth I mysteries has [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask a queen]] as a detective!
** At least two series feature her ladies-in-waiting as detectives.
* The detective protagonist of Tim Waggoner's ''Necropolis'' is a [[OurZombiesAreDifferent zombie]]. Not the brainless, shuffling, [[FleshEatingZombie flesh-eating]] type, just the kind that [[TheLoinsSleepTonight can't get laid]] and worries about his body parts falling off.
* Acatl, the main character of Literature/ObsidianAndBlood, is the second type: the High Priest of the Dead in the Aztec Empire, whose job it is to solve murders and other mysterious crimes.
* ''Literature/DirkGently'' doesn't so much "solve" cases as bumble around until they solve themselves. It's also implied that he's psychic somehow.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': A private detective with a very literal case of SuperOCD (as in, on the few occasions that he tries to seek treatment for it, he completely loses his detecting mojo... and it's a RunningGag he drives everybody nuts with his nitpicking).
* ''Series/{{Ironside}}'': A detective in a wheelchair.
* ''Series/{{Life}}'': The main character, Charlie Crews, went to jail for murder, but was recently acquitted. He's also a millionaire. And he's Zen (or at least Zen-ish).
* ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'': There is definitely ''something'' different about Detective Goren. That ''something'' being, probably, a mental problem that should be treated. It is partially an act. When asking questions he uses his size to control the space in the room and seem as intimidating as possible without seeming overtly hostile. Outside of interrogations he's a bit off but not quite crazy.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'' acted like this every once in a while for the first 2 seasons of his show, as he had to play private eye to figure out who he was supposed to beat up with his vampire powers/how to best beat them up.
** For that matter, there's a whole sub-genre of VampireDetectiveSeries. Probably the best known is ''Series/ForeverKnight''.
* The short-lived ''Blind Justice'' featured a detective who was blind, as did the '70s series ''Longstreet''.
* Many '70s detective shows had this, including ''Series/BarnabyJones'' (he's old!), ''Cannon'' (he's fat!), and ''Series/McCloud'' (he's a cowboy!).
** Others were marked as "exotic" by their ethnicity, including ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' (Italian), ''Series/{{Kojak}}'' (Greek), and ''Series/{{Banacek}}'' (Polish).
** ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' used this in-show as a major plot point, the rich bad guys not taking this sloppy unkept lower class Police Lieutenant seriously...at first.
* Philip of ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has the semimagical ability to access all of the world's information. A rather useful skill for detective work. His partner Shotaro might apply as well, considering that the two of them can become a Kamen Rider.
* Spoofed on ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' when Eric notices the popularity of this type of character and pitches a detective show called ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Good Looking Guy"]]'' to his father, complete with a theme song.
* ''Series/PieInTheSky'' is about a policeman who is trying to retire and spends as much time running the restaurant he is retiring to run as he does fighting crime.
* [[Series/{{House}} Gregory House]], arguably a "medical detective". An expy of Literature/SherlockHolmes with all of the intelligence, ''even more'' asshole-ery, and a knack for weird cases.
* ''Series/TheMentalist'''s Patrick Jane, while technically merely a 'consultant', probably qualifies as a 'consulting detective' in real terms. And is more than a slight bit odd. At least when you consider he's a little bit sociopathic and has apparently decided that being nice to other people unnecessarily (by his standards) is a waste of his time.
* The main character of ''Series/PushingDaisies'' is an AmateurSleuth who can [[{{Necromancy}} raise the dead]].
* Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' is the only ShapeShifter in the quadrant, making his job quite a bit easier.
* Carrie Wells of ''Series/{{Unforgettable}}'' has hyperthymesia, which allows her to perfectly remember everything she experiences.
* Walter Sherman and his compulsion to find in ''Series/TheFinder''.
* Amos Burke on ''Series/BurkesLaw'' is an LAPD captain who also happens to be a millionaire. He wears tailored suits, lives in a BigFancyHouse, has tony hobbies like horseback riding, and rides from crime scene to crime scene in a [[CoolCar chauffeured Rolls Royce]].

* Detective Professor Nathan Adler in Music/DavidBowie's RockOpera ''1. Outside'' is a hybrid of a detective and an art critic. In the TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture setting of the story, "art-crimes" (such as "concept-muggings" and, kicking off the plot, the grisly murder of a teenaged girl whose corpse is subsequently turned into an artwork) are on the rise and the investigation of them is handed over to a specialized corporation, Art-Crime Inc. Adler not only has to figure out who's responsible for these crimes, but determine whether they are art or not. Even his line of work is seen as a form of artistic expression in and of itself.

* ''Radio/ThatMitchellAndWebbSound'' has Detective Tortoise, whose quirk is that he's a tortoise, a fact he makes sure to remind the witness of constantly. Partway through it's revealed that this is not true. His real quirk is apparently that he's a human being who believes, and has somehow convinced his colleagues, that he's actually a tortoise.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' has Carmelita Fox, a ([[OohMeAccentsSlipping supposedly]]) Hispanic fox with some definite chemistry with the titular thief himself.
* ''VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy'' has a teenage detective with the ability to see and control demons and use them to influence moods and read minds.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney''
** Everyone in the series has some odd quirk and the detectives are no exception. Gumshoe's probably the most normal of the bunch.
** Miles Edgeworth, the titular investigator in ''Ace Attorney Investigations''. He's a prosecutor, not a detective, but somehow he winds up solving all the mysteries by himself anyway.
** Interpol Agent Shi-Long Lang, from the ambigiously Asian country of Zheng Fa, has a slight fixation with wolf metaphors and themes.
* ''The Dead Case'': In this online flash game you play a ghost who solves his own murder.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSpaceBar'', you play a detective that can read people's memories as an interrogation method, with large chunks of the game involving playing through said memories.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' has Nick Valentine, the private detective of Diamond City, who is noticeably an older model Synth in a society where Synths are feared; it's a testament to how good he is that most of the residents of the town actually think well of him. He also has the memories of a real pre-war detective named Nick Valentine, which later leads to a personal quest for him finding out what happened to one of the original Valentine's old rivals.


[[folder: Web Comics]]

* ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'' has the eponymous doctors solve a few mysterious magical crimes with the help of "Inspector Blue," a detective made out of blue crystals. The investigative work is pretty sound, but it's the setting that's bizarre.


[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'' turns into a cop show parody for "Stay Tuned". Pinkie Pie gets partnered with Gummy, a psychic detective.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Creator/HannaBarbera reveled in this in TheSeventies.
** The Scooby Gang of ''ScoobyDoo'': the detectives have a talking dog.
** ''Inch High Private Eye'': the detective is tiny.
** ''Captain Caveman'': the detective is a caveman.
** ''Clue Club'': the detectives have two intelligent dogs.
** ''Goober and the Ghost Chasers'': the detectives have a ''different'' talking dog.
** ''The Funky Phantom'': the detectives have two ghost helpers.
** As well as parodies of these shows, like ''MikeTysonMysteries''.
* [[ProperlyParanoid The Question]] on ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' parodies this trope with Steve often pretending to be a detective duo called "Wheels and the Leg Man" with Steve as "Wheels"(because he's in a wheelchair) and Roger as the "Leg Man"(because he can walk).
* ''Dick Spanner: Private Eye'', one of Creator/GerryAnderson's lesser-known creations which simultaneously parodies ''Film/BladeRunner'' and Creator/RaymondChandler, stars a robot.
* As the page quote showcases, parodied (and taken UpToEleven) in a quick gag on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': "exotic" detectives are so many on 31st-Century television that ''a detective that has absolutely nothing'' to help him on his snooping is pretty much considered one.