Writers of Amateur Sleuth mysteries face the question and problem all the time: why can the hero solve the mystery when the police with all their superior manpower and resources can’t.
Being the creative sorts we are, though, mystery authors have come up with a variety of answers to that issue.
Perhaps the police don’t believe a crime was committed. The death might have been made to look like an accident or suicide and only our hero truly believes it wasn’t. Or perhaps the victim has simply disappeared and no one else but the amateur sleuth suspects the person didn’t just take off on their own.
Or maybe the murder victim wasn’t all that well liked, or even was an out-and-out doofus. Even if the authorities believe he was murdered, they might not be willing to devote any extraordinary resources to get it.
Another option is to give the detective an unusual skill set or background that would make them uniquely capable of figuring things out. If the victim was in a highly specialized field like investment banking, art conservation, or jewel trading, a sleuth with similar skills might have a better chance at solving a murder resulting from a work-related issue.
In writing my Market Center Mysteries series, I went with a variation on that approach. My heroine is officially the assistant to the director, but a lot of her job duties involve trouble-shooting, settling disputes, and soothing ruffled feathers at the trades shows and business exhibitions taking place at the D.C. Commerce and Market Center.
Part of what makes her good at the job is that she’s an excellent listener. People talk to her, so she hears a lot of things the police never would. Most of it is irrelevant to solving the crime at hand, but sometimes there are nuggets of information that, put together, can yield an unexpected solution to the crime. Heather is also a very calm and logical thinker, which helps her sort out the important bits and see how they create a new picture.
Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BFTWFCXG
Other formats: https://books2read.com/u/bpq6Ng
The entire Market Center Mysteries Series: