``Good crime writing is good writing,'' submits Dibdin, and in evidence he offers these 84 excerpts from novels, stories, poems, and critical essays. Despite the brevity of the selections, ranging from a single sentence to a dozen pages (not even ``The Tell-Tale Heart'' or ``The Killers'' escapes abridgement), the collection--focusing on climactic murders, portraits of the police and of killers, and the menace implicit in deceptively quiet scenes--makes a cunning case for Dibdin's argument. Only two warnings are in order: Dibdin's acknowledged Anglophilia tilts the collection toward sinister understatement, whether British (C.P. Snow, C.S. Forester, Francis Iles, Julian Symons) or not (Chekhov, Simenon, Dorothy B. Hughes, George V. Higgins); and readers who aren't already familiar with the works excerpted are likely to spend their nights sleeplessly awaiting the time when they can get their hands on the originals. For the faithful, who won't need to be convinced that crime writing can be good writing, Dibdin (Dark Specter, 1996, etc.) provides a sumptuous dim sum for all seasons.