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Jeffrey Swales, the ace crime reporter for the Los Angeles Morning Tribune , assures his editor, Bob Ross, that he will soon receive enough information to solve a recent rash of high-profile robberies. Jeff goes home to meet with his long-time friend and informant, Blackie Barton, but discovers that Blackie has been stabbed to death in his apartment. After retrieving Blackie's notebook, which contains five names, Jeff is startled by the appearance of Mary Price, a seemingly naïve reporter who wants to profile Jeff for her magazine. Mary agrees to help Jeff, and the couple retreat down a fire escape when a gun-wielding thug chases them. The next day, Jeff awakens to find himself a suspect in Blackie's death, then goes to visit Tony, a junk dealer who is the first name in the notebook. While perusing Tony's wagon, Jeff identifies one of the valuable stolen paintings and is annoyed by a persistent drunk. Jeff runs from a passing policeman, after which he inspects the posh apartment of Lady Sylvia Marlowe, the second name on the list. There Jeff sees another stolen painting, and after verbally sparring with Lady Sylvia, escapes from her threatening chauffeur. Jeff returns to Mary's apartment and reveals his suspicions that Lady Sylvia is the gang's fence, and that Tony carries around the goods in disguise on his junk wagon. Jeff then hides as Bob arrives and Mary tells him that she will meet with him later that evening to turn in a story. Now suspicious of Mary, Jeff questions Harry Keating, an orchestra leader whose name is third on Blackie's list. Keating's apartment is full of stolen antiques, and so Jeff realizes that he is another member of the gang. Jeff then goes to a burlesque house to find Dolly Daring, who, as the fourth name, was working as a maid at the hotel that was the site of the latest robbery. Jeff is knocked unconscious and spirited away from the police by the drunk, and when he awakens, Jeff confronts Mary. Mary will not explain her involvement in the case but tries to convince Jeff of her love for him. Jeff storms out to visit R. S. Treavor, the last and final name. Treavor, who was pretending to be the desk clerk at Jeff's apartment building on the night of Blackie's murder, has many works of art in his home. As Jeff is questioning him, however, in walks Bob, the real mastermind of the gang and Blackie's killer. Bob explains that he kept Jeff on staff to solve other crimes and draw attention from his own nefarious schemes, but before Bob can shoot Jeff, he is subdued by the suddenly sober drunk. The drunk, whose name is Reilly, and Mary are actually insurance investigators, and with the gang rounded up, Reilly enjoys a drink while Mary and Jeff kiss.