Jerry (and Danny) Nelson

Created by Howard Schoenfeld

Double your pleasure, double your fun….

Let Them Eat Bullets, besides offering some rather peculiar dietary advice, is a rock ’em, sock ’em, paperback original from the folks at Fawcett Gold Medal about JERRY NELSON, your typical tough guy New York eye, who has an ace up his sleeve–an identical twin brother.

Jerry’s bro isn’t an eye, though. Danny Nelson‘s a mild-mannered college professor with a weakness for women, who occasionally gets roped into helping out Jerry on his cases. And, of course, he’s often mistaken for his shamus brother.

It may sound like a gimmick, but I really enjoyed this one. Jerry’s wise-cracking narration, and some snappy dialogue keep the story moving, there’s enough irreverence to keep you on your toes, and it’s all wrapped up in such a way you wish there’d been more. Unfortunately, Schoenfeld never wrote a sequel, or much of anything else, as far as I can tell.

And it looks like I’m not the only one who got a kick out of it. There are blurbs on the cover from both Ellery Queen and Anthony Boucher.

In fact, the blurb itself, presumably written by the Gold Medal elves, is pretty good reading:

Meet Jerry Nelson, a tough private eye, who knew what to feed a public enemy.
One of these dare devils is a private eye, a knight-errant with a nose for trouble.
His carbon-copy is a college professor, and idea man with a nose for the ladies.
When they pooled their resources, all hell broke loose – including blondes, lead showers and teenage psychotics.

While the blurb on the Canadian version cuts to the chase…

“It was murder–literally-when the twin brothers staged a reckless double shuffle that blew up even the New York cops!”

Whatever… funniest bit, though. I loved this when I read it maybe twenty-five years ago. Now I’m seeing some folks are calling it a parody.


  • “…a cult crime classic”
    — Allan Guthrie
  • “(Howard Schoenfeld) might easily become a figure to reckon with should he write a ‘traditional private eye shocker…'”
    — Ellery Queen
  • “Wondrously wild…liveliest new, tough storytelling in years… (Let Them Eat Bullets is) complete with gangsters, blackmail, corpses galore and a nympho-sadist with arrested development…the funniest caper since S.J. Perelman’s ‘Farewell My Lovely Appetizer‘…”
    — Anthony Boucher (The New York Times)



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Dorothy. Oh, and the cover was done by the great Barye Phillips.

Leave a Reply