Amateurish writing characterizes this collection of 13 stories by women authors, each featuring a female sleuth of little distinction, including several hard-boiled geezers who talk like Bogart outtakes, a couple who speak in CAPITAL LETTERS for emphasis, and one who lets her mother have all the best lines. Among the similarities: two stories feature clocks set to wrong times as the major plot device; two heroines insist that they were inspired to become snoops by reading Harriet the Spy as kids. Sadly, the longest story--concerning death in a ballet company--is the worst; but dogging its pages are an equally strained political shambles; a trio of aged-auntie capers' and a less-than-artistic serial murder. Written with little regard for the form. Definitely skippable. Includes a preface (not seen).