California, 1941. Visiting a potential client, Marlowe meets the formidable Mrs Murdock, and becomes acquainted with the eccentric family and the matter of a missing, rare coin. Can Marlowe handle the delicate family matter, and leave it to Mrs Murdock to privately rake her daughter in law, Linda, over the coals for swiping the coin? She did it… right?
Nightclub owners, kept women, love triangles, club singers, and murder creep into the picture. Marlowe soon has more trouble than he expected. The cops are willing to work with Philip, but the complications are just beginning when that rare doubloon shows up in the hands of our hard boiled detective. But when the coin shows up with Mrs Murdock, the case is closed as far as she’s concerned.
Is Marlowe obligated to keep his client’s embarrassments confidential? How much can he tell to the cops and keep his conscience clear? The Murdock matter may be closed… sort of… but there’s murder that Marlowe is left to answer on his own.
Facing a deadline with the cops, Marlowe digs into who killed who, and why. Easy resolutions are at hand to appease the cops, but the travesty of justice, truth, and ethics only make a big stink for Marlowe. Bodies pile up, secrets explode to the surface, and blackmail is exposed.
Though the cops are happy with their case closure, it’s confrontation time to unravel the truth, and see that justice is done, confidentially, and in Marlowe style.
It’s a long show, so Keith keeps his comments brief. There’s only some mention about the manner of justice, while avoiding the justice system.