Svlad Cjelli, infamously known as Dirk is not the main character in Dirk Gently’s Detective agency, in fact you can get through half the book without meeting Dirk. He is the old acquaintance of the actual main character of Richard Macduff, who knew him at university when, due to an unfortunate coincidence Dirk was arrested.
Richard in actual fact thinks of Dirk more as a series of events than a man. This is because, Dirk had attached to him a varied and interesting life, all of which he denied with some hostility. Dirk was (and is) terminally broke, as a student, however he had a few ideas for a scam which would allow him to live quite comfortably.
First he arranged for everyone to believe that his mother came from the smarter end of Transylvania, he did this by constantly denying it was the case, he also denied that he had inherited from her various psychic abilities. The other rumour he denied was that he was a half vampire, but still wore a long flappy black leather coat all the time and bought a machine that claimed it would help cure back pains if you hung upside down from it, he would allow people to discover him hanging from this on occasion.
Secondly he selected a credulous roommate and allowed himself to be heard talking in his sleep. In his “sleep” he would be heard to murmur something that would sound like an exam question. These he would have researched minimally, but tailored them using the same technique used in newspaper horoscopes, to be vague enough to match almost anything, but be accurate enough to convince sceptics. The rumour of this spread like wildfire and people began to ask his roommate what Dirk had been saying. However Dirk made sure that he would say the crucial part of the question when he was facing his pillow, unless he’d had a particularly good meal complete with a fine wine. As a result Dirk found himself being wined and dined almost every night.
Dirk of course denied there was any substance in the whatsoever, and at some point said that being hypnotised and making a prediction of the finals question was something he would never do under any circumstances. He then of course allowed himself to be talked into making a prediction using automatic writing. He made a few sensible guesses and had it sealed in an envelope not to be opened until after the exam. Unfortunately, he then “discovered” his mother needed a dental operation to be done privately and needed the money to pay for it… (in case subtlely isn’t your speciality, he invented this), he was persuaded to accept money for a peek at the exam question. He was making a very tidy sum out of this until the finals, when something unfortunate happened.
He got his prediction right. To the very comma. No-one would believe it was a coincidence and Dirk ended up spending a good deal of time in prison for his “crime.”
Nowadays Dirk owns a detective agency which, as the writeup above says, is holistic, and based on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. It unfortunately does not do very well owing to the fact that no one ever actually pays him. This leads him to receive people with a worried smile that wonders if he owes them money, which may transform into a happy warm smile that hopes they will lend him some. He changes his name fairly frequently to avoid having to pay too many people back..
Dirk smokes and drinks slightly too much and has a secretary and a cleaner who don’t work for him.