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Jim Hanvey, Detective is the fascinating story of literary character James Wilford Hanvey (Guy Kibbee) who investigates the theft of an emerald necklace owned by Adelaide Frost (Catherine Doucet). While he is at first reluctant to take on the case, even at the exorbitant fee of one thousand dollars, Jim eventually succumbs to Frost's pleas upon learning of the danger involved for the relevant parties. While investigating, the jeweled necklace mysteriously finds its way back into the safe, but not before Don Terry (Tom Brown) is found standing over the fatally wounded butler. Don claims innocence, in spite of the highly suspicious circumstances, and it is up to Hanvey to determine where guilt lies. On the advice of Hanvey, Don proceeds to write a series of newspaper articles that they hope will draw out the true murderer. However, it will remain for Hanvey to tie the loose ends together and ensure that the murderer will meet justice.