Ex-private dick Nick (Peter Lawford) and his rich wife Nora
(Phyllis Kirk) witness one of her old friends, Marcella (Natalie Norwick),
shoplifting at a jeweller, but then learn from the shop detective that
she's a kelptomaniac but her family pays for it all. Thing is, Nora has
been her roommate not too long ago, and back then she didn't have a
klepto-bone in her body - so Nora forces Nick to investigate, and Nick
soon finds out that she regularly pawns her loot, as if she needed money
for something ... and when he soon afterwards gets a "friendly
warning" from a few ruffians he knows she's blackmailed.
Nora force Marcella into a confession and learn she has killed a guy - at
a bar, too. Sure it was an accident, but that doesn't make it any better.
However, the barowner (Ken Lynch) has taken care of it, but now he and his
brother Angel (Grant Richards) are blackmailing Marcella. The only clue
that Marcella has to the killed man though is a doodle on a beer mat.
Interestingly, Nora has found a similar doodle on another beermat in the
bar Marcella has killed the man days later ... so Nick figures the man
must still be alive, and he figures it's payback time and roughs up Angel
a bit. Angel won't confess, but Nick finds something else, a doodle on his
notepad, resembling ... well, you know.
Ultimately, Nick and Nora take
Marcella back to the bar where she has supposedly killed this man, and
they find him still alive and kicking - and wouldn't you know it, it's
Angel in disguise.
In Dashiell Hammett's source novel as well
as the film series starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, Nick and Nora
Charles were a decadent and slightly irresponsible couple leaning towards
alcoholism and wisecracks. This was of course watered down for the
TV-version to a point where they are a happily married couple of
do-gooders with at best the occasional spark of eccentricity. Well, at
least the whole thing is kept light-footed and on comedic terms - but
that's already the best thing to say about this, otherwise it's a very
mediocre TV-crime series that's lacks originality (see for example the
slightly earlier Mr.
and Mrs. North) and is based on a little too far-fetched a
story that at least work as a mystery.