Emerson Cod
Chi McBride • (adult)
Steven Wash, Jr. • (Young Emerson)

Emerson Cod is a private investigator and Ned's business partner. Together they question the victims of unsolved murders to close the book on the crimes, and then split the reward money between them.

Emerson is the sole keeper of the secrets of Ned's touch and the resurrection of Charlotte "Chuck" Charles. Although Emerson acts self-interested and sardonic, he has had a significant impact on Ned's life; his crime-solving schemes helped save Ned's restaurant, The Pie Hole, from financial ruin, and reunited Ned with Chuck, his childhood sweetheart.


Early life

Emerson was raised by his mother, Calista Cod, a private investigator.[1] Mrs. Cod involved her son in her work from babyhood; by the time he was in late childhood, he was a full partner in their PI firm. Despite a warm relationship with his mother, Emerson has also alluded to "horror stories" in his past, and has claimed to have had the "full subscription of childhood issues." [2] Emerson went to art school for a time, but later dropped out.[3] He also has a fear of the dark from being trapped in a washing machine for two days when he was a child.[4] He revealed to Ned that he has a daughter,[5] who was taken away from him when his wife broke up with him one rainy day years ago.[6]

Working with Ned

Emerson Cod works as a private investigator in an office one mile west of The Pie Hole.[3]. One day, Emerson was chasing a fleeing criminal along the rooftops of several buildings. When the man tried to jump from one roof to another, he slipped and fell to his death, landing on a dumpster outside of The Pie Hole, where Ned was emptying his garbage. The criminal's hand grazed Ned's face as he landed, and he was brought back to life. Emerson witnessed this, and watched as Ned touched the criminal a second time, killing him again... forever. [2]

Emerson saw a way to benefit from this, and entered into a mutually beneficial arrangement with Ned: Emerson will find unsolved murders offering rewards for information, and then Ned will bring the victim back to life. They'll learn the circumstances of the victim's death and solve the crime, thus collecting the reward and splitting it between the two. The working relationship allows Ned to earn enough money to save The Pie Hole from closing. [2]

The arrangement also reunited Ned and Chuck when Emerson proposed solving her murder and collecting the $50,000 reward. Emerson was immediately suspicious of feelings Ned seemed to be harboring for Chuck from their childhood in Coeur d'Coeurs, but he agreed to give Ned privacy during the resurrection. Ned let Chuck continue to live, a fact that he tried to keep from Emerson, who initially suspected that Ned was trying to solve the murder and collect the entire reward for himself. Emerson soon learned the truth about Chuck, however, and the trio solved the crime together. [2]

Emerson originally tried to discourage Ned from bringing Chuck along on future cases, but the two end up working surprisingly well together while infiltrating the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters to find the killer of Bernard Slaybeck. Both ended up encouraging Ned to look further into the case by infiltrating the headquarters, and both found alternative ways to get past security. [3]

Personality and traits

As a private investigator, Emerson Cod is driven as much by financial profit as he is by a desire to see justice served. He gets less of a thrill from solving the crime than he does "counting my money in the bubble bath."[3] He is always focused on the reward, but has also shown signs of empathy for victims, as demonstrated by the way he strongly defends Cantaloupe, the dog falsely accused of killing her master. [2]

Although Emerson depends largely on Ned for his supernatural powers, Emerson has proven himself a resourceful private investigator. He is often able to deduce the motives of those he is investigating and is able to concoct solutions to problems, like when he obtained a security card for the Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries headquarters by contacting the security company, obtaining a sample ID badge and digitally altering it using the magnetic code that matches the serial numbers of the card-swipe machine. [3]

Emerson is also a habitually sarcastic man who paints himself as a pessimist; once asked if he believed in reincarnation, he responds, "The planet's falling apart. Right now, it's the children's problem. We reincarnate, it's our problem." [2] Emerson can be brutally honest and blunt, as demonstrated when he tells Olive Snook, "[Ned] digs [Chuck] in a way he definitely doesn't dig you." [3]

Although not unfamiliar with death, Emerson is more squeamish around gore than Ned. [2] He has said that he does not like dead bodies "when they sit up and talk."[3]

Emerson enjoys knitting, especially when he is upset, but he keeps this a secret and avoids knitting in public. He has knit sweater vests, handgun cosies and holders for the cash he earns in his cases with Ned. [3] He also reads "Knitwit Magazine", a humorous knitting magazine.[7]

He is currently planning on losing weight.[8]

Even though he has a vast knowledge on romance, he doesn't seem to have a love for anyone. But he did have a brief romantic interest in Simone Hundin.[4]

Although he may seem like a sourpuss, he has a soft side when it comes to pop-up books. He recently found a new hobby in making his own pop-up books after confiscating several books from a suspect's pop-up book store, one of which was the book that was bumped back in release date by LeNez's book, The Smell of Success, titled "Pop-up Pinups", which he and Ned seemed to enjoy.[7] Recently, he softened in his relationship towards Olive, offering her a place as his 'Junior PI' [6] and Chuck, who he helped cover up her resurrection of Charles Charles by burying Dwight Dixon. [9]

See Also

For a list of individuals who have hired Emerson, see Emerson Cod's Clients


  1. Frescorts
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Pie-lette
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Dummy
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bitches
  5. Corpsicle
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Legend of Merle McQuoddy
  7. 7.0 7.1 Smell of Success
  8. The Fun in Funeral
  9. Comfort Food
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