cover image Murder on the Run (Hc)

Murder on the Run (Hc)

Lawrence Block, Various. Berkley Publishing Group, $21.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-425-16146-3

The Adams Round Table, founded in 1982 by Mary Higgins Clark and Thomas Chastain, is a group of writers who meet once a month at a restaurant to share their writing experiences. In its fourth anthology (Missing in Manhattan), there are a few sparkling gems and a lot of costume jewelry. Stanley Cohen's ""Homeless, Hungry, Please Help"" chronicles a man who takes pity on a homeless couple whose ensuing behavior demonstrates anything but gratitude. Fans of Mary Higgins Clark will lap up her Wily and Alvirah entry, ""Lady Sleuth, Lady Sleuth, Run Away Home!"" in which the detecting duo return to their old Queens apartment building to flush out a killer. On the middling side, Joyce Harrington's ""Eunice and Wally"" is a somewhat predictable tale related by a poor white woman in prison for the murder of her husband. Whitley Strieber's ""Desperate Dan"" follows the frenzied nighttime flight of a wealthy man into the streets of 19th-century New York to avoid the embarrassment of arrest. Even with its few disappointments, the collection is entertaining, although it's not in the top ranks of the many mystery anthologies on bookstore shelves these days. (Feb.)