Part crime caper, part screwball comedy and part political satire,
The Discount Detectives is a quirky spin on the detective novel.
Ted Shackelford isn’t your typical literary detective. He's neither super-tough like Philip Marlow nor super-smart like Sherlock Holmes. He's a screw-up, a bungler. But he’s trying his hardest.
After being laid off from his job as a department store security guard, Ted stumbles into a job as a private investigator at the obscure Discount Investigations Agency. He's hired by chief investigator Ray Loveburn, who has a sketchy past, few scruples and far more confidence than common sense.
Soon after joining the agency, Ted is assigned to the Space Inc. case, and from there on his life is taken over by alter egos, shady characters, complicated financial schemes, rich wannabe astronauts, leering politicians, angry Tea Partiers and a vagabond prophet of economic doom. Run by industrial tycoon and libertarian politico O.P. Boa, Space Inc. has grand aspirations but there is little evidence that it is actually building a rocket. Despite a series of disguises and fake identities, Ted and Ray get nowhere on the case. Meanwhile, Ted is also trying to find clues about a mysterious financial bet placed against the U.S. government's credit standing, made urgent by a showdown in Congress over the country's budget. Soon Ted is thrust into a role he doesn't feel at all equipped for: Trying to save a world suddenly on the brink of economic collapse.