Nick Carter Analysis

Principal mystery and detective fiction

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1886-1887

The Old Detective’s Pupil, 1886; One Against Twenty-One, 1886; A Wall Street Haul, 1886; The American Marquee, 1887

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, A-C

The Amazonian Queen; The Automobile Fiend; A Bad Man from Montana; A Bad Man from Nome; Bare-Faced Jimmy, Gentleman Burglar; A Beautiful Anarchist; The Brotherhood of Free Russia; By Command of the Czar; The Chemical Clue; The Conquest of a Kingdom; The Conspiracy of a Nation; The Countess Zita’s Defense; The Crime Behind the Throne; The Crimson Clue; The Cross of Daggers

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, D-F

The Dead Man in the Car; A Dead Man’s Hand; The Devil Worshippers; The Diplomatic Spy; Doctor Quartz Again; Doctor Quartz’s Last Play; Doctor Quartz, the Second; Doctor Quartz, the Second, at Bay; An Emperor at Bay; The Empire of Goddess; Eulalia, the Bandit Queen; The Face at the Window; Facing an Unseen Terror; The Famous Case of Doctor Quartz; The Fate of Doctor Quartz; A Fight for Millions; Four Scraps of Paper

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, G-L

The Gentleman Crook’s Last Act; The Ghost of Bare-Faced Jimmy; The Gold Mine; The Great Hotel Murders; The Great Spy System; The Haunted Circus; Her Shrewd Double; Holding Up a Nation; Ida, the Woman Detective; Idayah, the Woman of Mystery; The Index of Seven Stars; The International Conspiracy; Ismalla, the Chieftain; The Jiu-Jitsu Puzzle; Kairo, the Strong; Kid Curry’s Last Stand; The Klondike Bank Puzzle; The Last of Mustushimi; The Last of the Outlaws; The Last of the Seven; A Life at Stake; The Little Giant’s Double; Looted in Transit

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, M

The Madness of Morgan; Maguay, the Mexican; The Making of a King; The Man from Arizona; The Man from Nevada; The Man from Nowhere; The Master Crook’s Match; The Master Rogue’s Alibi; The Midnight Visitor; Migno Duprez, the Female Spy; Miguel, the Avenger; A Million Dollar Hold-Up; Murder for Revenge; A Mystery from the Klondike; A Mystery in India Ink; The Mystery Man of 7-Up Ranch; The Mystery of the Mikado

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, N

Nick Carter After Bob Dalton(also known as Nick Carter a Prisoner); Nick Carter Among the Bad Men; Nick Carter and the Circus Crooks (also known as Fighting the Circus Crooks); Nick Carter and the Convict Gang; Nick Carter and the Guilty Governor; Nick Carter and the Hangman’s Noose; Nick Carter and the Nihilists; Nick Carter at the Track; Nick Carter in Harness Again; Nick Carter’s Master Struggle; Nick Carter’s Midnight Visitor; Nick Carter’s Strange Power; Nick Carter’s Submarine Clue; The Nihilists’; Second Move

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, O-P

Old Broadbrim in a Deep Case Sea Struggle; Old Broadbrim Leagued with Nick Carter; Old Broadbrim’s Clew from the Dead; The Passage of the Night Local; Patsy’s Vacation Problem; Pedro, the Dog Detective; A Plot for a Crown; The Plot of the Stantons; Plotters Against a Nation; A Plot Within a Palace; The Princess’; Last Effort; The Prison Cipher; The Prison Demon; A Pupil of Doctor Quartz

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, Q-S

The Queen of the Seven; The Red Button; Return from the Dead; The Secret Agent; The Secret of the Mine; Secrets of a Haunted House; The Seven-Headed Monster; The Skidoo of the K.U. and T.; A Strange Bargain

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, T-V

Ten-Ichi, the Wonderful; The Thirteen’s Oath of Vengeance; Three Thousand Miles of Freight; The Tiger Tamer; A Tragedy of the Bowery; Trailing a Secret Thread; The Two Chittendens; The Veiled Princess

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1887-1917, W-Z

A White House Mystery; A Woman to the Rescue; The Woman Wizard’s Hate; Zanoni the Terrible; Zanoni the Transfigured; Zanoni, the Woman Wizard

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1888-1897

The Crime of a Countess, 1888; Fighting Against Millions, 1888; The Great Enigma, 1888; The Piano Box Mystery, 1888; A Stolen Identity, 1888; A Titled Counterfeiter, 1888; A Woman’s Hand, 1888; Nick Carter, Detective, 1891; An Australian Klondyke, 1897; Caught in the Toils, 1897; The Gambler’s Syndicate, 1897; A Klondike Claim, 1897; The Mysterious Mail Robbery, 1897; Playing a Bold Game, 1897; Tracked Across the Atlantic, 1897

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1898

The Accidental Password; Among the Counterfeiters; Among the Nihilists; At Odds with Scotland Yard; At Thompson’s Ranch; A Chance Discovery; Check No. 777; A Deposit Fault Puzzle; The Double Shuffle Club; Evidence by Telephone; A Fair Criminal; Found on the Beach; The Man from India; A Millionaire Partner

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1899

The Adventures of Harrison Keith, Detective; A Bite of an Apple, and Other Stories; The Clever Celestial; The Crescent Brotherhood; A Dead Man’s Grip; The Detective’s Pretty Neighbor, and Other Stories; The Diamond Mine Case; Gideon Drexel’s Millions, and Other Stories; The Great Money Order Swindle; A Herald Personal, and Other Stories; The Man Who Vanished; Nick Carter and the Green Goods Men; Nick Carter’s Clever Protégé; The Puzzle of Five Pistols, and Other Stories; Sealed Orders; The Sign of Crossed Knives; The Stolen Race Horse; The Stolen Pay Train, and Other Stories; The Twelve Tin Boxes; The Twelve Wise Men; Two Plus Two; The Van Alstine Case; Wanted by Two Clients

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1900

After the Bachelor Dinner; Brought to Bay; Convicted by a Camera; The Crime of the French Cafe, and Other Stories; Crossed Wires; The Elevated Railroad Mystery, and Other Stories; A Frame Work of Fate; A Game of Craft; Held for Trial; Lady Velvet; The Man Who Stole Millions; Nick Carter Down East; Nick Carter’s Clever Ruse; Nick Carter’s Girl Detective; Nick Carter’s Retainer; Nick Carter’s Star Pupils; A Princess of Crime; The Silent Passenger; A Victim of Circumstances

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1901

The Blow of a Hammer, and Other Stories; A Bogus Clew; The Bottle with the Black Label; Desperate Chance; The Dumb Witness, and Other Stories; In Letters of Fire; The Man at the Window; The Man from London; The Man of Mystery; Millions at Stake, and Other Stories; The Missing Cotton King; The Mysterious Highwayman; The Murray Hill Mystery; The Price of a Secret; A Prince of a Secret; A Prince of Rogues; The Queen of Knaves, and Other Stories; A Scrap of Black Lace; The Seal of Silence; The Steel Casket, and Other Stories; The Testimony of a Mouse; A Triple Crime

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1902

At the Knife’s Point; Behind a Mask; The Claws of the Tiger; A Deal in Diamonds; A Double-Handed Game; A False Combination; Hounded to Death; Man Against Man; The Man and His Price; A Move in the Dark; Nick Carter’s Death Warrant; Played to a Finish; A Race for Ten Thousand; The Red Signal; Run to Earth; A Stroke of Policy; A Syndicate of Rascals; The Tell-Tale Photographs; The Toss of a Coin; A Trusted Rogue; Two Villains in One; The Vial of Death; Wearing the Web

Nick Carter (dime novels and pulps) series: 1903

The Barrel Mystery; A Blackmailer’s Bluff; A Blood-Red Badge; A Blow for Vengeance; A Bonded Villain; The Cashiers’ Secret; The Chair of Evidence; A Checkmated Scoundrel; Circumstantial Evidence; The Cloak of Guilt; The Council of Death; The Crown Diamond; The Fatal Prescription; A...

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(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

On the title page of many Street and Smith dime novels, Nick Carter is dubbed “the greatest sleuth of all time.” The resourceful personage of Nick Carter, a “house name” used by three different publishers, has certainly outlasted most of his competition; appearing in more detective fiction than any other character in American literature, Nick Carter seems as ageless as the sturdiest of monuments. Beginning with the September 18, 1886, issue of the New York Weekly, under the title “The Old Detective’s Pupil; Or, The Mysterious Crime of Madison Square,” Nick Carter’s career has spanned more than a century. In origin, Carter exemplified the American individualist with the superior intellect of a Sherlock Holmes. From the self-confident youngster to the mature head of his own detective agency, from the hard-boiled crime fighter to the oversexed spy, Nick Carter has changed with his times. No other character offers such an encompassing reflection of the beliefs and motives of the American public.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Cook, Michael L., ed. Monthly Murders: A Checklist and Chronological Listing of Fiction in the Digest Size Monthly Magazines in the United States and England. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982. Useful for keeping track of Carter’s various appearances in periodical publications.

Cox, J. Randolph. The Dime Novel Companion: A Source Book. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000. Contains an informative introduction to the dime novel publishing world from which Carter sprang, as well as discussion of Street & Smith.

Cox, J. Randolph. “More Mystery for a Dime: Street & Smith and the First Pulp Detective Magazine.” Clues: A Journal of Detection 2 (Fall/Winter, 1981): 52-59. Examination of the role of Carter’s publishers—and of the character himself—in the success and popularity of pulp fiction.

Fujiwara, Chris. Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1998. Includes analysis of Tourneur’s two Nick Carter films, Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) and Phantom Raiders (1940). Bibliographic references and index.

Murray, Will. “The Saga of Nick Carter, Killmaster.” The Armchair Detective 15 (Fall, 1982): 316-329. Informative discussion of Nick Carter’s superspy phase, in which the character was modified to capitalize on the popularity of James Bond.

“The Nick Carter Stories.” In Mystery and Suspense Writers: The Literature of Crime, Detection, and Espionage, edited by Robin W. Winks and Maureen Corrigan. New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1998. Comparison of Carter to other famous detectives and of his creators to other mystery and espionage writers.

Reynolds, Quentin. The Fiction Factory: Or, From Pulp Row to Quality Street. New York: Random House, 1955. Meticulous history of the Street & Smith publishing house, the publishers of the early dime novels featuring Nick Carter.

Sampson, Robert. Glory Figures. Vol. 1 in Yesterday’s Faces: A Study of Series Characters in the Early Pulp Magazines. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1983. Compares Carter to other popular pulp heroes, such as Doc Savage and the Shadow.

Srebnick, Amy Gilman, and René Lévy, eds. Crime and Culture: An Historical Perspective. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2005. Study focused largely on the evolution of crime literature around the start of the twentieth century. Concludes with a discussion of Nick Carter. Bibliographic references and index.