An amiably undistinguished group of 21--despite the fact that 14 of the stories have been taken from Best Detective Stories of the Year collections, 1963-1977. The standout is the nearly 70-year-old ""The Tragedy at Brookbend Cottage,"" a muchanthologized classic featuring Ernest Bramah's blind sleuth Max Carrados. There's an amusing selection from EQ's 1952 Calendar of Crime collection; the first (dullish) story featuring Hugh Pentecost's PR-man Julian Quist; a rather disappointing Lawrence Treat procedural; an utterly typical Inspector Dover frolic from Joyce Porter; a fairly interesting Roy Vickers crime-from-the-criminal-viewpoint story (circa 1947); competent but very slight work from Patricia Highsmith and Julian Symons; and one of the many Isaac Asimov ""Black Widowers"" pieces. The rest is a familiar mix--psychopathological vignettes, a mini-spy spoof, a limp parody of EQ by Jon Breen--plus one genuine oddity: R. Bretnor's ""A Matter of Equine Ballistics,"" which features a nicely fanciful rendering of historical weaponry and a truly bizarre form of suicide. Fair-to-middling overall--and much less choice than Crime Cruise 'Round the World (p. 907).