Mary Whitman has gone to Reno to obtain a divorce. While there she is arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow guest at her hotel (which specializes in divorcers). There are many others at the hotel who wanted the victim out of the way. Charlie comes from his home in Honolulu to solve the murder. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Before Las Vegas exploded in growth after Ben Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel and it became the gambling capital of the USA, Reno, Nevada was the state's largest city and it's business was divorce and quickie marriages. As sheriff Slim Summerville remarked when the original suspect for the murder is being arrested, one thing she won't have any trouble in finding is a lawyer. They practically grow like cabbages out in the desert.
Pauline Moore is in Reno getting a divorce from Kane Richmond and is accused of murdering Louise Henry, the woman set to marry Richmond. She has a scene in the beginning of the film where she makes herself such an obnoxious Miss Thing that half the would be brides and divorcées want to kill her. But it's Moore found over the body and Moore the one looking like she has the motive and opportunity.
Of all things Charlie Chan is called by Richmond still concerned for his wife. It turns out that of course Henry had a ton of enemies and acquaintances and a shady past with connections to others in the cast. It's up to Sidney Toler in his second Chan feature to ferret all those out.
I have to say some of them come out of left field, still the film is a decent Charlie Chan feature. Although the homicide captain Charles D. Brown is grateful for the help, country sheriff Slim Summerville spends most of the time bewildered by how rapidly the Oriental mind works. He's the comic relief in a good mystery that provides us with only one murder and a foiled attempt at another.
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