Nick Williams & Carter Jones

Created by Frank W. Butterfield

Ever since Hammett dropped Nick and Nora on an unsuspecting world, we’ve had dozens, if not hundreds, of couples trying to fill their well-to-do detecting shoes.

But Frank W. Butterfield’s NICK WILLIAMS, a San Francisco private investigator, and his “husband” CARTER JONES , a firefighter originally from Georgia, are horses of a different colour, in a series of M/M historicals. But hey, I guess if you’re going to be gay Butterfield picked the right town, even if it is the 1950s. And it always helps to have money, which Nick does. He’s considered the “richest homosexual in San Francisco.”

Which means he doesn’t have to work all that much, much to the dismay of his pragmatic secretary, Marnie Wilson.

Also around — at least when Nick and Carter — are in town (they travel a lot) are Jeffrey Klein, Esquire, Nick’s friend and lawyer, whose practice seems to lasrgely consist of defending people arrested in police raids in the Tenderloin, and Lt. Mike Robertson of the SFPD, Nick’s first love and best friend.

The series follows Nick and Carter’s adventures, as they face the challenges of publicly outing themselves long, before the term even existed, insisting on building a life together. There’s a lot of period detail in the series, and loads of local colour, while Nick and Carter enjoy the good life, swapping wisecracks, banter and cocktails all the way. And despite what feels like an obvious spin on Hammett’s smug lovebirds, the author himself thinks of the series as “a satirical riff on Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason novels.”

So go figure.  I’m just amazed he even has time to discuss his inspirations. He writes and publishes so damn lightning fast, that this series, only started in 2016, has already over thirty books, and at least two spin-off series already (no eyes in those), and even the Nick and Carter series, once set so firmly in the fifties, has bled into the mid-sixties, with ambitious plans for Nick and Carter to “legally marry in the summer of 2008 at the ages of 84 and 86, respectively.” At the rate Butterfield’s going that might be next week or so…

And to further muck with the time/space continuum, in 2020  the author began the Nick and Carter Holiday series, an ambitious string of short stories all centered around specific holidays, but reimagined from the 1920s to 2008.

We were back in more familiar settings of the fifties. when the ever-prolific Butterfield spun off yet another series, The Carter Jones Stories, in 2021–this time told entirely from Carter’s viewpoint.

NOVELS

  • The Unexpected Heiress (2016) | Buy this book | Buy the audio Kindle it!
  • The Amorous Attorney (2016)
  • The Sartorial Senator (2017)
  • The Laconic Lumberjack (2017)
  • The Perplexed Pumpkin (2017)
  • The Savage Son (2017)
  • The Mangled Mobster (2017)
  • The Iniquitous Investigator (2017)
  • The Voluptuous Vixen (2017)
  • The Timid Traitor (2017)
  • The Sodden Sailor (2017)
  • The Excluded Exile (2017)
  • The Parodoxical Parent (2017)
  • The Pitiful Player (2017)
  • The Childish Churl (2017)
  • The Rotten Rancher (2017)
  • A Happy Holiday (2018)
  • The Adroit Alien (2018)
  • The Leaping Lord (2018)
  • The Constant Caprese (2018)
  • The Shameless Sodomite (2018)
  • The Harried Husband (2018)
  • The Stymied Star (2018)
  • The Roving Refugee (2018)
  • The Perfidious Parolee (2018)
  • The Derelict Dad (2018)
  • The Shifting Scion (2018)
  • The Beloved Bach (2019) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
  • The Redemptive Rifleman (2019) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
  • The Agitated Actress (2019) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
  • The Manic Mechanic (2019) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
  • The Loveless Lawyer (2019) Buy this book | Kindle it!

NOVELS (THE NICK & CARTER ADVENTURES)

NOVELS (THE CARTER JONES STORIES)

SHORT STORIES & NOVELLAS

SHORT STORIES (THE HOLIDAY SERIES)

  • “New Year’s Day 1979” (January 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 1986” (January 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Valentine’s Day 1951” (February 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Washington’s Birthday 1948” (February 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Mardi Gras 1975” (February 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “St. David’s Day” (March 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “St. Patrick’s Day” (March 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Easter, 1929” (April 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Cinquo de Mayo, 1963” (May 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Mother’s Day, 1978” (May 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Decoration Day, 1933” (May 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Father’s Day, 2005” (June 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Independence Day” (July 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Bastille Day” (July 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Labor Day” (September 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Columbus Day 1939” (October 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Halloween 1970 ” (October 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Veteran’s Day 2006” (November 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Thanksgiving 1947” (November 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Pearl Harbor Day 1991” (December 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Christmas Day 1994” (December 2020, digital) | Kindle it!
  • “Boxing Day 1981” (December 2020, digital) | Kindle it!

COLLECTIONS

  • A Year of Holidays with Nick & Carter, Volume One (2020) Buy this book | Kindle it!
    Collects the first six holidays.
Suggested by Pekka. Report and snarky remarks respectfully added by Kevin Burton Smith.

 

2 thoughts on “Nick Williams & Carter Jones

  1. I’m in withdrawal from Nick and Carter. First of all, thanks. Secondly, please tell me there’s more. I’ve read everything and I’m in love with Nick and Carter. And I’m straight.

    I have this music video in my head with Blues Run the Game as background–vignets such as Mike in full monster mode as Nick tells him he’s enlisted, Carter with Dr. Williams in a fireman’s carry at Janet’s funeral, Nick and Carter watching their house go up in flames, Nick holding Nacho as he dies, a collage of all the airplanes they buy. Then maybe Carter watching the truck destroy his ’67 Cougar. Cameos of Rosalind Russel, Bette Davis, Rock Hudson, Randolph Scott.

    Transition to Jo Stafford in the last few bars of Some Enchanted Evening, “Never let him go…”. Nick in a wheelchair with Carter standing next to him; 2012 and they are getting married. As Jo finishes, Carter is climbing into Nick’s hospital bed and they embrace. There is silence. After a few moments, Carter says, “Hey Boss.” Nick says, “What, Chief?” Carter says, “Say Montmartre”. Nick says, “Monkmarter”. Carter chuckles as it alll fades to black.

    1. Not sure why you’re thanking me–I’m just the web monkey here, not the author, but LABOUR DAY just came out, to be followed soon, no doubt, by HALOWE’EN, THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, etc.

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