Exoticism is the keynote in this crop of 20 stories (1923-96) reprinted from Ellery Queen's and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazines. Hayford Pierce's private eye searches for a house missing from its lot in Tahiti (which the editors unaccountably place in the Caribbean); Pat McGerr's Selena Pierce plays amateur spy in Moscow; Walter Satterthwait asks whodunit in Somalia. Even familiar settings are played for their local color in tales that dip into the past (David Braly's 1481 Venice, Ruth Rendell's fin-de-siâ‰¤cle England) or plumb the depths of minority subcultures (Batya Swift Yagur's Orthodox Jewish New Yorkers, Hughes Allison's 1948 African-Americans, Manly Wade Wellman's and William T. Lowe's Native Americans). Minor but typical stories by Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, and Patricia Highsmith broaden the geographical canvas, but only James Sarafin's haunting Eskimo idyll goes far beneath its colorful surface. A relaxing Cook's tour that doesn't ask too much either of you or the authors assembled.