I’m also aware of Boucher’s influential role as a mystery critic, but he was also involved in the world of science fiction. (You can read all that and more in the back of the IPL edition, which I own, where one "Burke N. Hare" gives a brief biographical outline of Boucher's life. Incidentally, the cover to Nine Times Nine is proof that Nicky Zann is a genius. After all, thanks to his genius, I bought that monstrosity, The Affair at Royalties. Awful, awful stuff. I'm still attending group therapy to get over it. But his cover is once again magnificent, and really intrigued me and intellectually blackmailed me to read this book.) But until now, I never read a novel by Boucher. This mistake has been rectified, as I’ve finished his excellent novel, Nine Times Nine.
Boucher also manages to include a discussion on the infamous “locked-room lecture” from John Dickson Carr’s The Three Coffins. Basically, the police officer in charge of the case, Terry Marshall, goes home to his wife who has been reading a “marvellous” mystery which tells you all the possible solutions to a locked-room murder. Marshall can’t stand mysteries, but he suddenly sits straight up and demands to see the book. When Matt Duncan drops by for a dinner engagement he’d agreed on with Marshall, they discuss the lecture. It is a wonderful segment, which starts with the mystery-hating Marshall praising the book’s literary merits, and then morphs into a discussion of the case with every possibility being ruled out. At the end, nothing is left. The crime, for all intents and purposes, truly was impossible! (Ergo, the crime never happened. Q.E.D.) However, this section gives away a major hint as to the nature of the solution in The Three Coffins, so I would suggest reading Carr’s novel first and then going on to Boucher’s as a sort of companion piece.