When a troupe of showgirls with their impresario and press agent vacation at a Malibu Beach resort, two of them are garroted. Charlie takes on the case assisted by Number Two Son Jimmy and faithful chauffeur Birmingham Brown.
Victor Sen Yung
Vic Armstrong arrives at his Uncle Judge Armstrong's home just in time to answer the telephone. Unknown to him, his uncle has just been murdered and the culprit is right there in the room with him! Phyllis Powers, on the other end of the line, recognizes Vic's voice, but just then Vic is knocked unconscious by the murderer. When he awakens, he (for reasons known only to movie mystery writers) pulls the knife out of his uncle's back, thus putting his fingerprints all over it, and just in time for the police, having been called by a worried Phyllis, to discover him standing over the body. Well, we know he didn't do it, but the police don't agree. Can Charlie Chan recognize the boy's innocence, and find the real murderer before Vic is sent into durance vile, or even worse?Written by
Roland Winters carries this off better than in his first couple efforts. There's a little more pizazz to this offering. Several men are killed who were associated with the conviction and execution of a hoodlum. Apparently, he was innocent of the crime. This brings into play someone who is seeking revenge. Since it is thought that he has no relatives or close associates, finding the guy is pretty hard. Once again, we have the poor guys, alone in their offices, with the windows open. They are attacked from behind and left to die. There is a red herring in the barrel that is never dealt with. A man who is the nephew of a judge is to be disinherited and becomes a suspect. He is cleared very quickly (a weakness in the plot--but then he is abundantly unattractive as a person) because of some findings. We pretty much never see him again. The problem with the whole thing is the circumlocutory mess that must be gone through to find our guy. There is an exhumation of a grave, done in about five minutes. It's hard to tell who is who in the fabric of things. When the solution comes my response was "Huh!" And, of course, the two hangers on are there again to participate.
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