A detective gathers information through clues, questioning, and furtive observation, with the goal of finding the truth behind a crime or some other mystery. There are two types of detective, police and private, though private investigators come in many varieties, especially in fiction. A private detective might do business through a detective agency, provide security for a company in some other industry (e.g., a hotel), or simply take cases as they stumble upon them.
Some characters who are, for all intents and purposes, detectives, don't self-identify as such - Hershel Layton, for example, is a professor by trade, but spends much of his time investigating in much the same way a professional would.
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