It is sometimes hard to give an overall rating to a book that contains shorter works by several authors. This particular book was just plain fun from beginning to end. It is true that the novels do leave things out. They have to, in order to tell the story that is intended. Still, the novels have let us know that there is a whole world affected by the Ring of Fire, It is in these shorter works, and those in the Grantville Gazette where we find the rest of that world. All together, it makes the United States of Europe seem more and more like a real place, even though we can't visit there.
I gave the whole book four stars out of five.
These are my three favorite stories in the book:
71, by David Brin (A completely new idea in the Ring of Fire universe)
Scarface, by Eric Flint (New characters, old characters, and a great story with a happy ending)
The Red-Headed League by Virginia DeMarce (A compelling story that still manages to tell you more than you ever though you wanted to know about 17th century politics)