Maybe we're just stupefied by the babel of accents, but this collection of quirky crimes and trick solutions seems below the usual Fenner standard. The drawling protagonists include a ""gator bawling"" escaped convict in the Louisiana bayous, a not too bright cowboy outsmarted by a dog, and that lean old Sheriff Matt McQuestion (""Any sucker can make an arrest. The difficult thing is to know when not to""). Even Gallico's ""Roman Kid,"" in which a rube sportswriter has the final say in authenticating an ancient bronze statue, Kemelmen's tour de force of inference ""The Nine Mile Walk"" and McKinlay Kantor's ""The Grave Grass Quivers"" rely on outworn pulp stratagems. Taken one at a time these are bearable, read at one sitting they make one wonder whether dredging through back files of the Saturday Evening Post and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine wouldn't make anyone a little punchy eventually.