Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hatcheck girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect. His record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needs, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt and Steele's inner demons come between them?