Ben Bryn

Created by Russell Gray
Pseudonym of Bruno Fischer
Other pseudonyms include Harrison Storm

A childhood bout with polio left pulp private eye BEN BRYN with a pair of withered and almost useless legs. But that didn’t stop the 5’2″ gumshoe from developing an extremely powerful upper torso, grim determination and a razor-sharp mind. As a child he had pushed himself about on a wheeled platform, selling newspapers and shoelaces, but, as he grew older, he developed a series of exercises that eventually restored his legs to normal, and became the most feared crimnal investigator in the state, battling seemingly one sadistic criminal mastermind after another.

Ben was one of the most popular of the so-called “defective detectives” that Dime Mystery loved so much, but Ben was actually a toned-down version of Gray’s own Calvin Kane, the infamous “crab detective,” whom readers evidently found rather hard to take–at least according to legend (there’s some question about whether any Kane stories were ever printed). But Ben’s adventures certainly were–nine of them were published in Dime Mystery in little more than a year..

Author Russell Gray (a pseudonym of Bruno Fischer) was one of the more prolific popular writers of the pulp era, starting out working weird menace back in the thirties, and eventually moving into the paperback market of the fifties, where he wrote tons of great stand-alones, as well as numerous short stories and/or novels featuring private detectives such as Ben Helm, and Rick Train.


  • “The Dead Hand Horrors” (April 1939, Dime Mystery)
  • “Flesh for the Monster” (May 1939, Dime Mystery)
  • “Prey for the Creeping Death” (July 1939, Dime Mystery)
  • “School for Corpses” (September 1939, Dime Mystery)
  • “The Thin Men of Id” (October 1939, Dime Mystery)
  • “Murder Has One Eye” (December 1939, Dime Mystery)
  • “Corpses in the Chorus” (January 1940, Dime Mystery)
  • “Girls for the Coffin Syndicate” (April 1940, Dime Mystery)
  • “Hideout for the Damned” (May 1940, Dime Mystery)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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