Rush Henry

Created by Joe Barry (pseud. of Joe Barry Lake; 1909-61)

Hard-boiled, hard-drinking RUSH HENRY slugged his way through five rough, tough books in the 1940s, first as an undercover op for Army Intelligence, and later as a P.I. earning fifty dollars a day, plus expenses -- or whatever he can get away with.

A former Chicago crime reporter, he's persuaded by his editor in the third book in the series, The Fall Guy (1945), to take up private investigation upon his return from overseas. Seems Henry was sent home after a serious injury left him with a metal plate in his shoulder.

But the steel plate doesn't seem to slow down Henry -- or his drinking.

Interestingly enough, author Joe Barry (the pen name of Joe Barry Lake, who also wrote as Donnell Carey) was born in Iowa, but he was evidently quite popular worldwide, with his books published in several countries, including Argentina, Australia, France, Spain and Canada (where several of his books were published by Harlequin.)

The Rush books were all originally published for the Mystery House and Arcadia lending libraries, but the author also wrote two books featuring Donn O'Mara, apparently a New York P.I.; another featuring a gumshoe named Bill August, and another under the pseudonym "Donnell Carey," Kisses Can Kill! (1951) featuring private eye Chase Colburn (1951), which was apparently only published in Australia.

Sometime in the fifties Lake apparently abandoned mystery writing, and started writng for television, working on Danger for CBS and a couple of soap operas, The Road of Life and The Inner Flame, of all things.


  • "Implausible but swiftly moving and cadaver-sprinkled tale with dauntless hero, helpful gal and exceptionally well concealed diabolus ex machina"

-- Saturday Review of Books on The Clean Up


  • The Pay-Off (1943)
  • The Third Degree (1943)
  • The Fall Guy (1945) . Buy the book . Kindle it!
  • The Triple Cross (1946)
  • The Clean-Up (1947; aka "Dangerous Bargain")

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to C. Brooke Gruenberg (whose father worked with Barry in the 1950s) and Mike Russell for helping fill in some of the blanks..

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