When a long-buried corpse is unearthed at the National Pictures Studio in Los Angeles, private investigator Rick Walker is called in to solve the thirty-year-old murder case.
The white-haired chairman of the studio steps forward and commands everyone's attention. The cheerful executives jockey for position and the photographers take a few casual practice shots. The muslin cover is removed from the sign and flash-bulbs pop as the studio chairman announces future construction on this site--formerly Old Western Street--of a state-of-the-art film laboratory, to be the biggest and most advanced in Hollywood. The bystanders clap politely.
The ceremonial shovel is handed to the chairman, and the photographers move around for better angles. The chairman sinks the long-handled shovel into the dark, soft earth and flash-bulbs pop again. The studio president takes his turn with the shovel. He is followed by a nervous dowager who struggles to lift a shovelful of earth from the deepening hole, then dumps it next to the growing pile of dirt. A large, gray-white object tumbles into the sunlight and the woman drops the shovel and screams. The reporters and photographers scramble forward to record the sudden turn of events.
To borrow from the title of an old radio drama series, I love a mystery, and this one is short and sweet. Move over Raymond Chandler, G.E. Nordell's Rick Walker, P.I. has taken center stage.