Three long short stories, much in the manner of Two By Two, and the title suggests just the right tone of facile sophistication with a talon they achieve. All three deal with middle-aged love and marriage, and love out of marriage, and marriage without love. A Promising Career of a benedict headmaster is foreshortened by an adulterous affair which, as it cools, is formally legalized, rapidly dissolved; he drinks, she bolts.... The Clever One who knew the ""exact price of success"" is Theodore As (c) her whose quick changes of countries and wives pay off well until he meets a woman who not only robs him blind but destroys him. The Rise and Fall of Mrs. Hapgood concerns the menopausal metamorphosis of a woman of fifty discarding her ""fatal niceness."" All provide a kind of temporal, feminine entertainment-- sort of like costume jewelry, fashionable and not really valuable.