Problem Solved: True Stories from a Blind Private Eye

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Fans of crime fiction, raised on a diet of lone wolf PI's, limping the dark and rainy backstreets in pursuit of justice for the downtrodden, or retribution for wrongs that nobody else cares about, might find the tales in PROBLEM SOLVED a bit of a surprise. Most of the cases that PI Andrew Chambers and his team take on are insurance fraud, embezzlement, workplace harassment and corporate espionage. On the more unsavoury side there were cases involving very tacky unfaithful spouses, and a child prostitution ring that was just awful, but despite the international travel, and the surveillance, and working with talented teams of people - a lot of the cases he undertook during his long career were very different from the sorts of things you read about in fiction.

PROBLEM SOLVED is partially the story of Andrew Chambers own life, partially the story of how he got into, and remained, a successful private investigator, eventually stepping down to allow his son to take over, as his blindness became more of an issue. I hasten to add, Chambers didn't start out as a blind PI, his eyesight failed over many years as a result of a myriad of health concerns. 

Of particular interest as well was the way he sought clarity on why he was given up for adoption at a very young age, and how he ended up both in Australia, married to his wife, and got into the private investigating business in the first place.

The style of writing in this book might take a little bit for readers to get used to - given the nature of what he's describing, the report writer in him means that everything is formal, dry, and a bit on the lacking emotion side. Once you get used to the idea that this is simply the way of the book and author, the tales he tells are fascinating - about both his own life, and the nature of corporate private investigation. I have to confess to still feeling a lot of affection for the battered and bruised lone wolf types, but realistically, tracking down insurance fraudsters and proving workplace harassment are (hopefully if you think about it) a lot more common than constantly searching for retribution for ignored wrongs.

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Problem Solved is a true crime memoir following the life of Andrew Chambers, who at the end of his career was known as ''the blind private eye'. The book is based on true stories that reveal the clandestine, funny, and often confronting world of private investigations.  Andrew worked in Australia and across the globe tackling varied and demanding jobs and shares stories about staking out unfaithful spouses, going undercover to investigate workplace harassment, investigating embezzlement, insurance fraud, cracking a South East Asian child prostitution ring and performing corporate espionage in the final days of Alan Bond’s career.  

In a fateful twist, Andrew also confronts the lifelong mystery as to why his parents gave him up for adoption to discover the true nature of his beginnings. Problem Solved tells the story of Andrew’s struggle with blindness, and continued pursuit of his career where, surrounded by a strong team led by his son, Andrew repositioned himself as the blind private eye.  

Review Problem Solved: True Stories from a Blind Private Eye
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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