Books: Crushers and Subgumshoes

In the resort-town whatsit shops, where summer visitors unload old paperbacks, a good used thriller is rarely in stock. Biographies, gothics, sex novels abound. But whodunits tend to linger on in vacation cottages until, in a welter of unglued clues, they spill apart. This summer at least four volumes will be read to shreds by season's end:

Michael Crichton's THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (Knopf; 266 pages; $7.95) happily contributes to the current revival of British imperial style. In Sherlock Holmes reprints, The Great Victorian Collection and innumerable biographies, Victoria Regina rides again. For this...

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