Hollywood detective Toby Peters is asleep on his floor when the dentist who shares his office calls, wailing that his wife has left him. While on the one hand, Toby is shocked that a woman as unpleasant as Mildred could ever attract a suitor, he's even more surprised by the name of the alleged Lothario: Peter Lorre, the scaly-voiced, bug-eyed Hollywood character actor.
Though he can't imagine why the dentist would want her back, Toby agrees to track down his missing wife. He finds Lorre in a greasy spoon near the Warner Brothers' lot, but the actor doesn't know a thing about the missing Mildred. Her boyfriend turns out to be a Peter Lorre impersonator, and by the time Toby finds him, he's doing a very credible imitation of a dead man. The bullet was meant for the real Lorre, who has just become Toby's client - whether Toby likes it or not.