Jarndyce and Jarndyce, a contested inheritance, has been dragging through the Courts of Chancery for years, gradually grinding down its suitors.
Into this mincing machine are thrown two young innocents, Ada and Richard.
Strange things begin to happen when a law writer is found dead in his seedy lodgings near the courts from an overdose of opium.
Known only as Nemo, his death attracts a surprising amount of attention, not least from Lady Dedlock, who hides a painful past.
Lovelorn legal clerk William Guppy is on the trail of orphan Esther Summerson's origins and gets himself involved in something far bigger than he can handle - a spontaneous combustion.
Richard, obsessed with his inheritance suit, is on a dangerous path to self-destruction.
Lady Dedlock finds her wayward past is rapidly catching up with her.
Having sworn her long-lost daughter Esther to silence over their relationship, she is confronted by her lawyer, Tulkinghorn, who threatens to expose all.
Inspector Bucket sifts through the evidence then reveals all.
Jarndyce and Jarndyce finally gets its judgement.
Will the selfless orphan Esther Summerson and bankrupt newlyweds Ada and Richard get what they deserve?
The chase is on for the murderer of Tulkinghorn, but having made so many enemies the killer could be almost anyone.