cover image The House That Kills

The House That Kills

Noel Vindry, trans. from the French by John Pugmire. Locked Room International (, $19.99 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-507667-92-7

Vindry (1896–1954), a French master of the impossible crime novel, makes his English-language debut with his first book, originally published in 1932. Set in Aix-en-Provence in 1919, it introduces examining magistrate Allou. Right after Allou goes on vacation, leaving his less experienced and unnamed colleague in charge, the junior magistrate learns of odd doings at the remote house of the Louret family. Pierre Louret was almost home when he was confronted by a tramp, whom he ended up shooting in self-defense. Oddly, the dead man was carrying a large amount of money. This killing proves to be but the prelude to a series of murders in the Louret home itself, carried out under circumstances that render the crimes apparently impossible. The solution is perfectly logical, and Vindry displays gifts for puzzle making and creating a creepy atmosphere that will resonate with fans of John Dickson Carr. (May)