"He works the San Francisco waterfront,,,and takes commissions for anything but murder."
Pat Novak (Jack Webb) is hired by a famous jockey to find a missing race horse -- the "Fleet Lady" of the title; instead he finds a dead body at the stables.
Pat Novak, for Hire first aired on San Francisco's KGO from 1946-1947. and was picked up nationally by ABC for nineteen episodes in 1949. Novak ran a boat shop on Pier 19 and did odd jobs for money. These odd jobs usually end up with a dead body lying around. Helping Novak on his cases is his friend and drunken former doctor Jocko Madigan (Tudor Owen). Police Inspector Hellman (Raymond Burr) usually shows up to blame Novak for the murder, but Novak and Madigan usually solve the case and let Hellman bring in the murderer.
Fast-paced action, pulp magazine dialog, and witty one-liners were standard fare on the show.