Perhaps all those made-for-TV movies are to blame. You know the plot: Young widow meets dreamboat. He seems like perfect husband material until she discovers what the viewers have known all along: He's a creep, with a long record of criminal fraud -- or something worse -- in his past.

It seems that such deception isn't just a staple of prime-time drama -- it's real life. Or at least that's what former New York City Police Dept. detectives Tim Bartlett and Jerry Palace are betting. They're starting Check-a-Mate, a nationwide network of private eyes. Their primary job: making sure that prospective spouses are "not bankrupts, not ex-convicts, not child molesters, not rapists, not anything -- in fact -- that would be an obstacle to a happy relationship." What if those "obstacles" are real, and your Mr. Right turns out to be Mr. Dead Wrong? Well, you can always sell your story to Hollywood.

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