Another undistinguished but competent-enough gathering of British crime stories--slightly less satisfying than last year's so-so compilation, with not a single genuine standout among the 17 entries. Domestic killers provide the most solid, if predictable chills: Dorothy Simpson's tale of a bad-seed lass, polishing off mother, then stepma; Celia Dale's ""Good Investments,"" with a prim professional widow who eventually meets her homicidal match; Ella Griffith's variation on Arsenic and Old Lace, with a sweetly psychotic pair of elderly revenge-ladies. Eric Ambler offers a tongue-in-cheek slice of wry super-detection; Anthony Price tells a familiar but graceful buried-treasure/old-murder anecdote; there's another excerpt from Michael Gilbert's Mr. Calder and Mr. Behrens. But, along with a limp smuggling story by Palma Harcourt, there's under-par work by Celia Fremlin (foolishly contrived), H.R.F. Keating (slight and silly), Peter Godfrey (an implausible, stiffly written melodrama about a husband dealing with his wife's drug addiction), and others. Strong (sometimes) on style, but weak on tension or surprise: a weak entry in a middling series.