Sixteen new stories by women authors, with a rambling introduction by Alison Hennegan that leapfrogs from real-life murderesses to fictional heroines to the male bias of the legal profession to the role of women as ""a grievously under-used resource."" Among the better offerings in the collection: Susan Dunlap's daffy ""A Burning Issue,"" in which a wife's admittedly haphazard approach to detail disastrously backfires when she tries to kill her husband; Margaret Yorke's ""The Liberator,"" which involves a smugly self-righteous murderer who kills in order to rescue the harassed; and Amanda Cross' chirpy ""The Disappearance of Great Aunt Flavia,"" in which an eccentric Kate Fansier relative ups her self-esteem by playing snoop. Of lesser interest are several lesbian partnership stories, including one at a feminist book fair, one on campus, and one involving child-snatching. Almost incomprehensible is Millie Murray's all-dialect (Jamaican) ""A Blessing In Disguise,"" and Sara Paretsky's chewing-the-fat tale strains too hard for its punchline. In all, undistinguished proof that women authors can be just as obtuse about women characters as men. With the exception of the Dunlap, of meager interest.