Often "theme" mystery anthologies suffer from major quality-control problems because of a shortage of stories that fit into the chosen category. Such is NOT the case with HOUND DUNNIT (1987), ed. Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Corol-Lynn Rossel Waugh. Not only are there plentiful mystery stories that deal one way or another with dogs, but there are many excellent stories here that do so. Of the 17 stories reprinted in this book, I would rate 7 of them as deserving letter grades of "A" or "A-" and 5 more as deserving grades of "B+," "B," or "B-." Two more stories, in my judgment, deserve grades in the "C+" to "C" range, and the remaining 3 would earn a "D."
In order (following a short introduction by Asimov), the stories included are (1) "The Sleeping Dog" by Ross MacDonald (pen name of Kenneth Millar), (2) "The Enemy" by Charlotte Armstrong, (3) "The Dog Who Hated Jazz" by William Bankier, (4) "The Dark Road Home" by Paul W. Fairman, (6) "The Emergency Exit Affair" by Michael Gilbert, (7) "How Come My Dog Don't Bark?" by Ron Goulart, (8) "Dispatching Bootsie" by Joyce Harrington, (9) "Captain Leopold Goes to the Dogs" by Edward D. Hoch, (10) "Lincoln's Doctor's Son's Dog" by Warner Law, (11) "The Dogsbody Case" by Francis M. Nevins, Jr., (12) "Puzzle for Poppy" by Q. Patrick (pen name of Hugh Wheeler, writing without Richard Webb), (13) "Chambrun Gets the Message" by Hugh Pentecost (pen name of Judson P. Philips), (14) "Raffles on the Trail of the Hound" by Barry Perowne (pen name of Philip Atkey), (15) "Coyote and Quarter-Moon" by Bill Pronzini and Jeffrey Wallman, (16) "Sellin' Some Wood" by John Rudin, and (17) "A Dog in the Daytime" (aka "The Body in the Hall" and "Die Like a Dog") by Rex Stout.
Five of the stories are Fair-Play Puzzles that readers can test their wits with (Doyle's, Hoch's, Nevins's, Patrick's, and Stout's); four others could be called "Successful Adventures" or stories in which people set out to accomplish something and do so (Armstrong's, Gilbert's, MacDonald's, and Pronzini's and Wallman's); two stories are Disclosures of Resourceful Personalities (Fairman's, about a young blind girl, and Pentecost's, about an elderly woman); and the remaining six are Premise Stories of various kinds, four of them meant to be amusing and two meant to provide enjoyment with their "happy endings" (Bankier's, Goulart's, Harrington's, Law's, Perowne's, and Rudin's).
My own favorite was Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe story, which was not totally plausible but had a self-contained "logic" and was told in a very witty manner. Others nearly as enjoyable were "Puzzle for Poppy," "The Enemy," "The Dog Who Hated Jazz," "Chambrun Gets the Message," and "Silver Blaze," an old Sherlock Holmes story I first read when I was twelve. Slightly below these, I'd place "Coyote and Quarter-Moon" and "Sellin' Some Wood." The three I was most disappointed with were "The Sleeping Dog," "Dispatching Bootsie," and "How Come My Dog Don't Bark?"
Although another factor did not affect my ratings of the stories or the number of stars given to the whole anthology, I think that it needs to be mentioned here. None of the editors and no one on the staff of the publishing company took time to proofread this book carefully. Scattered throughout are little typos of various sorts, and three of the stories are even given erroneous titles in one or more (or many) places: "Coyote and Quartermoon" (for "Coyote and Quarter-Moon"), "Dogsbody" (for "The Dogsbody Case"), and "Lincoln's Doctor's Son's" (for "Lincoln's Doctor's Son's Dog").