Sylvia West seems just about perfect in the eyes of California millionaire Frederic Summers, who proposes marriage to her. She is beautiful, brilliant, financially independent, writes poetry and personifies exactly what he wants in a woman.
But as a precaution, Summers brings in a private investigator, Alan Macklin, to do a background check. Macklin travels to Sylvia's hometown of Pittsburgh, where to his surprise he learns that Sylvia is a former prostitute and a blackmailer whose fortune mainly comes from illegal means.
Macklin elects not to inform his client of this, however, because he has the bad luck to fall in love with Sylvia himself.