Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.
Fifth Avenue socialite Irene Bullock needs a “forgotten man” to win a scavenger hunt, and no one is more forgotten than Godfrey Park, who resides in a dump by the East River. Irene hires Godfrey as a servant for her riotously unhinged family, to the chagrin of her spoiled sister, Cornelia, who tries her best to get Godfrey fired. As Irene falls for her new butler, Godfrey turns the tables and teaches the frivolous Bullocks
As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed “John Doe,” who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby to impersonate “Doe.” Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it’s worth, until the made-up “John Doe” philosophy starts a whole political movement.
In flashback from a ‘Rebecca’-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly attracted to Jeff, who’s being plagued by unexplainable accidents, major and minor. Bad luck, persecution…or paranoia? Warned that Jeff could be dangerous, Ellen fears that he’s in danger, as the menacing atmosphere darkens.
A budding young writer thinks it’s her lucky day when she is chosen to be the new secretary for Owen Waterbury, famous novelist. She is soon disppointed, however, when he turns out to be an erratic, immature playboy. Opposites attract, of course, but not without sub-plots that touch on competitiveness within marriage and responsibility.