For once, the title is not a misnomer: Of the 14 stories presented, five are standouts, most are engaging, and only two are disappointments--and even they have intriguing premises (though lackluster presentation). Among the best: Donald Westlake's Edgar-winning ""Too Many Crooks,"" in which Dortmunder and the gang rob a bank and interrupt another robbery in progress; James Powell's ""A Dirge for a Clown,"" involving murder by mime; Doug Allyn's ""Star Pupil,"" about student (convict) manipulation of a teacher; Peter Lovesey's ""The Haunted Crescent,"" an elegantly clever ghost story; and Ruth Rendell's ""A Pair of Yellow Lilies,"" which proves that not all the knowledge in the library comes from books. There are strong outings, too, from Brendon DuBois (arson); Antonia Fraser (vacationing couples and murder); Elizabeth Peters (a locked ""tomb"" mystery); Marcia Muller (Sharon Mccone and a Christmas runaway), and Connie Holt (mourners who don't). Less successful are Ruth Graviros's overlong examination of Ted Bundy's (maybe) father, and Shizuko Natsuki's tale of hotel-room trickery. Also included are two slight but neatly worked-out yarns by Jack Adrian and Henry Sleazor; a necrology; an awards list; plus short, punchy story introductions by editor Hoch, who, thankfully, did not include his own fiction here.