I Love a Mystery (1945)
Opening with a car crash and a decapitation, the story is told in flashback as Jack and Doc become involved with a man who tells them that he will die in just such a manner in three days' time. Of course there is a large amount of money involved, and also an Oriental cult, mysterious women, a peg-legged man, and many deaths.
In San Francisco, a decapitated dead body is brought to the morgue, the victim who died in a car accident. The victim is purported to be socialite Jefferson Monk. The story several days earlier. Monk, by chance, meets renowned detective partners Jack Packard and Doc Long at a Russian dance/dinner club. Monk, who is accompanied at the club by a woman only identifying herself as Miss Jean, a woman Monk purportedly does not know and just inserted herself into his evening without invitation, informs the detective pair that someone is trying to kill him, he believing it the unknown man with a peg leg and carrying a small black bag who has been following him. One year ago, Monk was contacted by a mystic named Mr. G, a philosopher with a sacred order, who seemed to be peripherally related to a trip to the Far East that Monk and his loving wife Ellen Monk made. G's primary purpose for contacting Monk was to make him an offer: to purchase his head for $10,000 after he dies due to his resemblance to the order's founder, a man who died one thousand years ago but whose dead body, which Monk saw and does admit looks like him, has been kept eternally young. G believes that Monk may be the reincarnation of the founder. G prophesied that unless Monk accepted the offer, he and Ellen would not survive the night. Further prophesies by G were that Ellen would become an invalid - which has come true, Ellen now confined to a wheelchair - and that Monk would die exactly one year to the date of their meeting, that date approaching within days. Monk believes the peg leg's bag is ultimately for his head. Since that meeting with G, Monk has slowly descended into a near state of madness due to the anxiety. Packard and Long take the case, agreeing to protect Monk and find out who is trying to kill him. With a couple of mysterious deaths associated with the case in the intervening time and with Packard and Long able to discover the truth behind some of the evidence Monk provides to them, is the dead man in the morgue truly Monk, or is there something bigger at play?
- Just correcting Mr. Kerrigan's brief account. It should of course refer to the male leads as Jack and Doc for Jack Packard and Doc Long