As the critic Mark Valentine has written: 'Michael Arlen wrote of the fast set of Mayfair and Belgravia, those who were to be termed the Lost Generation. His characters are doomed young war heroes still hungering for excitement; newly emboldened and abandoned heroines; raffish cads and outcasts from convention. All the tales are laced with fine irony and understatement, and a kind of bantering tone with the reader which was to become Arlen’s hallmark.' Arlen's characters are disillusioned, cynical, and witty, but in addition these stories include elements of fantasy and horror – in particular “The Ancient Sin” and “The Loquacious Lady of Lansdowne Passage”. The volume also introduced a gentleman crook reminiscent of Raffles in the story “The Cavalier of the Streets”, and the title of another story, “When a Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”, was the inspiration for the popular song of the same name.