Private eye Captain Duncan Maclain, so known for his military service in WWI, where he was also blinded, is investigating the murder of an actor named Paul Gerente, the ex-husband of Mrs. Thaddeus Tredwell, the fourth Mrs. Tredwell. The mister’s daughter Babs had secretly been seeing him and she was now missing.
Maclain and his partner, Spud Savage, have a number of suspects. And even a man who lived one floor above the victim has confessed to the killing, claiming self-defense, and that one of the Tredwell maids can back his story, being a witness. She’ll claim she wasn’t there though.
And the daughter Babs has gone missing besides.
It doesn’t take the blind man long, all his other senses sharpened from years of training, to figure the man’s story doesn’t hold up. The killing couldn’t have happened the way he said.
Why did the man confess to a killing he couldn’t have committed? And why involve an innocent girl?
Maclain moves into the Tredwell household with his two German Shepherds, Schnucke, his seeing eye animal, and Dreist, who serves more as a bodyguard to look into the matter.
Tredwell’s son is an engineer working for the federal government out of a shop on the home property and has designed a bomb sight for the air service(the time is 1940-41 and America hasn’t entered the war yet). He’s working on an improved model and that may have something to do with all the goings on.
And then the second body turns up. Maclain, going to talk with another maid, finds her dead, beheaded!
An unusual P.I. novel involving a spy angle. It was made in the 1942 film EYES IN THE NIGHT.
For more forgotten books, check out PATTINASE on Fridays.