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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Shopkeeper...Review

About the book:
In 1879, Steve Dancy sells his New York shop and ventures west to explore and write a journal about his adventures. Though he's not looking for trouble, Dancy's infatuation with another man's wife soon embroils him in a deadly feud with Sean Washburn, a Nevada silver baron.

Infuriated by the outrages of two hired thugs, the shopkeeper kills both men in an impulsive street fight. Dancy believes this barbarian act has closed the episode. He is wrong. He has interfered with Washburn's ambitions, and this is something the mining tycoon will not allow.

Pinkertons, hired assassins, and aggrieved bystanders escalate the feud until it pulls in all the moneyed interests and power brokers in Nevada. Can the former city slicker settle accounts without losing his life in the process?

A fun western. I haven't read a lot of westerns, but this one was enjoyable. New York shopkeeper Steve Dancy sells his shop and travels west, looking for adventure. His travels take him to the silver mines of Nevada. A gentleman who prefers books and cards with friends, Steve inadvertently finds himself a gunslinger embroiled in a feud with a silver baron. Add a beautiful woman, hired killers and some early Nevada history and you have The Shopkeeper.

The story was fast paced and entertaining. The hero isn't the most upstanding guy: he'll lie and cheat to get what he wants, but he's clever enough to manage it all, and take a few of the bad guys out along the way.

I liked the characters, and the portrayal of friendship. I liked the strength of Jenny, the main female character, and I cheered when her mother-in-law received her own just rewards. My main complaint is the moderate profanity, which I found annoying and unnecessary. I think there are plenty of other words one can use instead of the ubiquitous "F" word.

This is obviously the first in a series about Steve Dancy and I look forward to more.

Thanks to
Paula Krapf of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about James D. Best here and his Steve Dancy character here. You can purchase the book here.

Read 7/09

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. When I read a book that's not set in the present day and the "F" word is used a lot, I always wonder how accurate it is. I've always thought the liberal use of that word was a modern thing.

  2. I agree with Kathy. I wonder when the 'F' word first was used.

    I do want to say though that I don't think I've ever even read a western. It's never been my thing although I love watching them on tv. I may have to give one a go one of these days.