"Well Preserved" is a dark comedy set in the late 1940s about a middle-aged widow named Virginia Williams, who lives in a Victorian house with her three dead husbands and her college niece. Byron Radcliff, an old friend, pays her a surprise visit with the good news that he'll be a guest professor at Princeton. With excitement in his eyes, he shares his reason for coming to the university. If all goes as planned, it is his lifelong dream to find a way of preventing the extinction of his environmentally contributing insects called knockobees.
With a little persuasive push from her niece, Virginia invites Radcliff to spend his temporary stay at her house. Of course, Virginia has trepidations about having him around her three preserved husbands. However, she later discovers that Radcliff has found the three men and is thrilled about using them to further his research. Virginia allows him to go forward with his quest until love, jealousy, and suspicion affect the relationship between these characters, both dead and alive.