Not for nothing is Noel Vindry known as “the French John Dickson Carr.” Between 1932 and 1937 he wrote twelve locked room novels, of a quality and quantity to rival the master himself, yet he has so far remained unknown to English-speaking readers.
In its starred review Publisher’s Weekly says: “Vindry displays gifts for puzzle making and a creepy atmosphere that will resonate with fans of John Dickson Carr.”
The legendary Boileau-Narcejac team, responsible for Vertigo and Diabolique, spoke of his “unequalled virtuosity” and “stupefying puzzles.” Thomas Narcejac said that “not even those specialists E. Queen or D. Carr” (sic) were Vindry’s equal. He was the poet of the puzzle novel.
The House That Kills (“La Maison Qui Tue”) was Vindry’s first book, featuring examining magistrate* Monsieur Allou and three baffling locked room mysteries, including the first appearance of one particular puzzle type, to the best of my knowledge.
*an examining magistrate is a peculiarity of the French judicial system. Carr’s first four books featured another one: Henri Bencolin.