Mostly inconsequential, but worth owning if only for ""The Dakar Run,"" Clark Howard's charming, and thrilling, tale of a compulsive gambler lather and his daughter who reunite for a go at the Paris-to-Dakar trophy in a race-car built by the daughter's boyfriend. Two other bright spots: seldom anthologized Judith O'Neil with a child's reason for not reporting a murder; Edward Gorman's 25th-reunion story of a trio of rapists and the unexplained death of a fourth. More humdrum are Peter Lovesey's crafty stroke victim; Michael Collins' umpteenth Dan Fortune story; and Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski defense of old friends, plus Bill Pronzini's Nameless detective in a tavern mishap. Also on hand are editor Hoch, with a WW II reenactment; Linda O. Johnston with an ever-so-predictable trick-ending short-short; Carl Martin with a trick-ending revenge caper; Bill Crenshaw with a stylishly told cop story (this year's Edgar winner): and Loren D. Estleman with p.i. Amos Walker on a Texas manhunt. Bland, overall, in keeping with the editor's author introductions. Includes a round-up of this year's Edgar (American) and Dagger (British) winners; lesser awards; necrology; bibliography.