Lynn Lash

Created by Lester Dent
(1905-1959)

Lester Dent was best known, of course, for Doc Savage, but the first of his gadget-obsessed sleuths was LYNN LASH.

Although he (sorry, ladies — this Lynn’s a dude) only appeared in two published stories, Lynn serving as an important stepping stone towards the creation of a certain Man of Bronze. Like Doc, Lynn used a slew of gadgets in his work, and was extremely intelligent, easily a match for  Sherlock Holmes or Arthur B. Reeves’ criminologist Craig Kennedy, another genius type who used science in his investigations and an obvious inspiration for Lash.

It’s never quite clear what Lynn’s occupation is. He works out of a skyscraper headquarters with a fully equipped laboratory (complete with secret elevator and a basement stuffed with “special vehicles”), helping the police with their investigations, utilizing technology far beyond anything the local constabulary are capable of, and dealing with scientific threats the police can’t handle.

But it’s never quite clear if he’s a private detective or some kind of a consultant, working on a case-by-case basic, a full-time employee of the police department, or just a bored, independently wealthy doofus helping the cops out of the goodness of his heart.

Lord knows, they needed it, though. A “strange glitter” at the corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue that leaves people blind? Mysterious rays? Men reduced to decaying, dried up mummies, seemingly instantly? Ghastly monsters and hordes of “slant-eyed Orientals?

The cops were just glad Lash was there to help.

So perhaps it doesn’t even matter what Lash’s actual occupation was. Although Dent quit writing the series after only two published stories, he would continue to tinker with the notion of creating other science-based detectives, including Foster FadeLee Nace and Click Rush.

And if anyone really wanted more way out there adventures featuring Lash, in 2015, Pro Se Press, with approval of Dent’s estate, released The New Adventures of Lynn Lash, a collection of six new stories by various writers. There were guns that left no bullets, armed robbers from outer space, a sea monster in the Hudson River, assorted doomsday weapons and all sorts of pulpy goodness.

SHORT STORIES

  • “The Sinister Ray” (March 1932, Detective-Dragnet Magazine)
  • “The Mummy Murders” (December 1932, Detective-Dragnet Magazine)
  • “The Flame Horror” (2012, Hell in Boxes)
    This rejected story lingered, unpublished,  until the Hell in Boxes collection in 2012.

COLLECTIONS

  • Hell in Boxes: The Exploits of Lynn Lash and Foster Fade (2012) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
  • The New Adventures of Lynn Lash (2015) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
    A collection of six brand new Lynn Lash stories by Andrew Salmon, Chuck Miller, Jim Beard, Tim Lasiuta, R.P. Steeves and Teel James Gleen.

RELATED LINKS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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