Dandies at Delmonico's shooting their cuffs and ""Under World denizens"" shootLng at New York's Finest; the first fictional use of the lie detector and wiretapping in its creepy infancy. Such turn-of-the-century props and backdrops (Boston and frontier settings as well as mid-Manhattan) have to carry the show, since the colorless detectives sleepwalking through this short-story baker's dozen aren't fit to refill Sherlock's slipper. The one legitimate piece of detection comes, predictably enough, from Futrelle's Thinking Machine, while the one stylishly crafted tale is a dark horse: Frederick Irving Anderson's ""Infallible Godahl."" The others, despite Greene's desperate introductory puffery and the by-lines of Samuel Hopkins Adams and Richard Harding Davis, are hard slogging indeed--painful facetiousness, endless exposition, and dialogue that must have always been dated. One chauvinistic reminder: the rivalry notion is supremely unfair since the great early American sleuths--Poe's Dupin and Post's Uncle Abner--are disqualified for lack of contemporaneity with Holmes. Rum, very rum.