An omnibus volume of 29 tales from the previously published Behind the Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1975), Plots and Counterplots: More Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1976), A Double Life: Newly Discovered Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1988), Freaks of Genius: Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1991), and From Jo March's Attic: Stories of Intrigue and Suspense (1993). Now that Alcott's ``complete'' unknown works are under one roof (A Modern Mephistopheles, a late novel, is still to come), readers may analyze certain repeated themes, as well as certain traits of characterization, in these stories written anonymously--and for money--between 1863 and 1870. What's clear is that as Alcott (1832-88) grew in skill she steadily created more rounded figures for her sensational tales, figures based on the sexual struggle for power, and often featuring well-observed drug addicts. Also clear from the first paragraph of her earliest story here, ``Pauline's Passion and Punishment,'' is that Alcott had mastered the 19th-century's addiction to rhetoric and could spin a paragraph full of pumped-up passion and fiery-eyed phrases that balance as admirably as the sentence structure in ``The Gettysburg Address'' and will draw even from a grudging reader a smiling suspension of disbelief. Strong-willed femmes fatales, ardent betrayals, and voluminous bloodlettings, largely in foreign backgrounds.