Michael Shayne is a private detective who is disliked greatly by Pete Rafferty, local chief of police detectives. Rafferty notifies the newspaper press that he is going to close Shayne's agency, just as Michael is about to be hired by the wealthy Eleanor Ramsey, who is being blackmailed. She is the stepmother of what she considers to be two grown-up brats, Dorothy and Ernst, and she considers their father to be of little value to the world himself. They all conspire to get their hands on her money, even to the extent of attempting to hire Shayne to frame an insurance robbery. Mrs. Ramsey is murdered, and Rafferty is trying to pin the killing on Shayne, despite the fact that suspicion points to Buell Renslow, brother of the slain woman. Shayne's secretary, the fetching Phyllis Hamilton, decides to do a little detective work to help her boss. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For those who have never seen Hugh Beaumont outside of Leave It To Beaver, here's a chance to do so. Beaumont made quite a few mystery/detective films before hitting the small screen, and his role a Michael Shayne is typical of many of his portrayals. Here he is a slightly-wisecracking private dick who likes to leave trails of peanut shells wherever his cases take him. He's sort of a cross between Dick Powell's version of Philip Marlowe, and Dick Powell's radio character of Richard Diamond (if you can picture that). The production values are what you would expect from PRC, and yet I've seen worse. The storyline leaves little room for suspense, with a not too-unpredictable ending. Still, Beaumont's pleasant personality, some classic autos, and a couple of classy-looking '40s dames make this a watchable entry in the Michael Shayne series.
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