This is Spring Fever (1948) again, put through the theatrical mincing
machine and emerging in Hollywood as a second novel. The only English
characters are the ex-safe-blower butler, Phipps (see Augustus Robb in
Spring Fever) and Lord Topham, scrounging hospitality from the aristos of
the film colony.
Ex-silent-films star Adela Shannon Cork's late millionaire husband had said
'Take care of my brother Smedley', so Smedley gets board and lodging at the
big house in Beverly Hills, and nothing more. He longs to go on a toot and
tries to borrow the wherewithal from Adela's butler. Adela's sister, 'Bill'
Shannon, loves Smedley and lends him $100 and he goes on a bender and
invites to stay chez Adela for several weeks Joe Davenport, who is in love
with the Shannon niece Kay.
Adela's house once belonged to Carmen Flores, passionate Mexican film-star
now dead. Everybody is looking for the diary she must have written and left
somewhere in the house. It's sure to be red-hot property for a publisher.
'Bill' Shannon is ghost-writing her sister's memoirs. She had been on a
jury which had sent Phipps to prison. She has been a crime reporter, sob
sister, press agent, minor actress. She quotes a lot from Shakespeare and
explains that she had been a stewardess on a fruit-boat and The Plays of
Shakespeare had been the only book on board.
Pretty Kay Shannon, the niece, works on a New York magazine. She calls her
Aunt Wilhelmina 'The Old Reliable'. Writer Joe Davenport has been
blacklisted in Hollywood because he once threw a heavy book at Ivor
Llewellyn. But he has recently won a radio jackpot. He is a good buzzer. He
wants to marry Kay. Kay says No, thinking he is not serious about her. But
when she sees him lying on the floor, knocked out apparently by a bottle by
the drunk Phipps, she showers kisses on his upturned etc., etc. In fact
'Bill' had slipped Joe a Mickey Finn to achieve exactly this effect. Joe
will marry Kay. 'Bill' will marry Smedley and Phipps will play butler parts
Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.