A newspaperman is given the "advice to the lovelorn" column to write after an argument with his boss. He resents the assignment but the job pays off when he gets the beat on the hottest story of the day.
Fiona, Evelyn and Susanna are sisters. Their mother dies on the Lusitania, their father is killed in France, they must manage their Fifth Avenue mansion by themselves. Fiona marries Charles Barclay in order to get an inheritance and he begins a campaign to obtain the mansion to level it for real estate development. She vows that this will never happen.
When a police officer is shot arresting a car thief, Captain Barnaby uses his skills and contacts to track down the culprits and uncovers a bank heist plan in the process. Barnaby has no qualms about bending the law to achieve his ends, including trumped up charges to persuade his only witness to cooperate or detaining some call girls to coerce their madam to help him. In the meantime he deals with everyday police business, juggling seemingly trivial matters with more serious ones.
Emilie has been hired to care for the four sons of wealthy Adam Stoddard and his wife, Molly. After Molly dies, Adam and the boys grow to depend on Emilie even more. At the same time, Emilie falls in love with Adam. The boys grow up, but Adam insists that Emilie stay on as part of the family. Her relationships with both the boys and Adam become strained after one son marries a gold-digging viper named Hester.
A woman finds out that she has magical powers, and terrorizes the neighborhood and turns into a witch to scare the local kids. Her son sees his mother's new powers as a chance for him to make a ton of money.
A fading actress is determined to control the lives of everyone around her, especially her family. She sets out to disinherit her grandson because she doesn't approve of the young French girl he is in love with.