This latest EQ anthology is about evenly divided between ironic twisters and competent plodders, with top honors to an oldie-but-goodie: Queen's own ""The President's Half Dime"" from the 1952 Calendar of Crime (a riddle/puzzle involving a tad of whimsical G. Washington history). The other tricky stand-outs: William Bankier's sly tale of ad-agency employees murdering their foul boss; Ruth Rendell's story of long-overdue sibling revenge (below-par but neat); and crafty, if predictable, work from Jack Ritchie (a beauty-pageant judge is amusingly threatened), E. X. Ferrars (a multiple murderer goes too far), and Lawrence Block (a familiar burglar/victim reversal). On the other side there's a six-part escaped-convict investigation from Edward D. Hoch (a novella); drug sleuthing from Michael Gilbert; terrorists and hostages from Patricia McGerr; and Thomas Walsh's ""The Dead Past,"" with a man's old felony catching up with him. Plus: some clinical psychopathology (Barbara Callahan), some ghosts (Rosalind Ashe), and an old Edgar Wallace story (Supt. Minter) never before published in the US. All in all: an unremarkable but decent gathering.