The Darts of Cupid and Other Stories By Edith Templeton Penguin, $120 Stories involving Cupid are rarely as sophisticated and shrewd as those in Edith Templeton's collection. Distanced somewhat from the heartbeat of passion, her narratives often deal more with love's psychology than with its physical nature. The title tale, set around a wartime office, is of an era. Despite feeling bathed in sepia, however, it's a captivating observation of yearning that transcends time. Slow in pace, like other offerings in the book, it creates a lingering mood and leaves its imprint subtly. The same effect is achieved in A Coffeehouse Acquaintance. Set in Prague, where Templeton was born in 1916, it's evocative, if unsettling. A married Londoner has an affair with a worldly but mysterious man she meets in curious circumstances in a cafe. It's only when she returns three years later that she grasps the extent to which he is truly a stranger. In one of many sharp insights, Templeton writes: 'The man is always different in the beginning from anyone else one has ever known. By the time one has sorted him out as belonging to a certain type, the end is in sight.' After reading all seven of her stories, you'll probably be inclined to agree.