Mrs Lirriper is an involving story of people thrown together by chance, that moves from the squalors of Victorian London to the sunnier climes of southern France. Recently widowed, Mrs Lirriper devotes her energies to attending to the needs of her assorted lodgers. But when a new-born child is abandoned to her care, her responsibilities extend to new levels. Enlisting long-time lodger, the Major, into the role of 'guardian', the two develop an increasing affection for the boy. In an effort to entertain the growing lad, they relate the stories of their fellow-lodgers, little knowing that they are about to embark on their own real-life tale of impending death, guilty secrets and mysterious legacies.