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The Shopkeeper (A Steve Dancy Tale Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews

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Length: 243 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

I have to say its one of the best western books I've read in a long time. You'll find yourself lost in the book--the fast pace keeps it interesting. --Woman'sDay, Maritza Barone

The Shopkeeper is an entertaining story about a New York shopkeeper who has relocated to the wild west. The Shopkeeper is a smart gunslinger and star of a new western series.  --Nashville Examiner, Diane Scearce

A great book, I do hope that The Shopkeeper gets the readership it richly deserves.  --Blogger News Network, Simon Barrett

This is a fast paced tale with an interesting hero. In structure, with short chapters, crisp dialogue, and lots of movement, it's reminiscent of a thriller ... you'll certainly find enough twists and turns to provide an entertaining and exciting story. --Western Writers of America Roundup Magazine, August, 2008
 
"If you are a fan of great westerns from authors like Louis L'Amour and Larry McMurtry, then you need to get on board with James Best and the Steve Dancy series. Great stories, interesting and diverse characters and plenty of action! I have enjoyed every one of them and The Return is a terrific addition to the series. My only complaint is that they don't come fast enough! I can't wait for the next one and hope it comes soon!" --Larry Winget, The Pitbull of Personal Development

From the Inside Flap

Honest Westerns ... filled with dishonest characters.

"The James Best books...are about the best new Western series to come along since Larry McMurtry"--True West Magazine, March, 2012
 
"If you are a fan of great westerns from authors like Louis L'Amour and Larry McMurtry, then you need to get on board with James Best and the Steve Dancy series. Great stories, interesting and diverse characters and plenty of action! I have enjoyed every one of them and The Return is a terrific addition to the series. My only complaint is that they don't come fast enough! I can't wait for the next one and hope it comes soon!" --Larry Winget, Bestselling author, The Pitbull of Personal Development  
 
"The prose is decidedly and artfully simply, and I'd argue that the story reveals itself more like a detective novel than a typical western."--Melanie at Books Eats

Product Details

  • File Size: 1138 KB
  • Print Length: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Queen Beach (November 21, 2007)
  • Publication Date: November 21, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000ZVSCK4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

James Best is the author of the bestselling Steve Dancy Tales: The Shopkeeper, Leadville, Murder at Thumb Butte, The Return, and Jenny's Revenge. His other novels include Tempest at Dawn and The Shut Mouth Society. Principled Action and The Digital Organization are his nonfiction books. James has ghost written three books, authored two regular magazine columns, and published numerous journal articles.

As a conference speaker, he has made presentations throughout North America and Europe. He is a member of Western Writers of America, Western Literature Association, and the Pacific Beach Surf Club. James enjoys writing, film, surfing, skiing, and watching his grandchildren play sports and cavort.

His blog address and contact information can be found at http://jamesdbest.blogspot.com/

James and his wife Diane live in Omaha, San Diego, and New York City. (Close to all the things he loves except skiing. Invitations to a mountain cabins gladly accepted.)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a fun read this book was. The Steve Dancy character is likeable and down-to-earth, but has some surprising talents that are uncovered as the story unfolds. I liked the link between the rough and ready spirit of the West and the complexity of the accompanying politics. The details of day-to-day living in a mining town, on the trail, at a cattle ranch, and in the political arena made this story really come alive. The other characters were well developed and you just have to love the elder Mrs. Bolton. I look forward to reading `Leadville' to find out what Steve Dancy learns about the West in next chapter of his adventures
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Format: Paperback
I've read my share of fiction, and The Shopkeeper by James D. Best is in the top 20% of those I have read. It has elements of suspense and self-discovery, with a little romance. What moves it to the top quintile is a clever plot, masterful character development, and an ending which is neither a stretch nor a let-down. Rather, the ending fully reflects the protaganist's iron will and calculating mind contrasted with a malleable and naive romanticism. My top criticsm of the book is the romantic interest could have played a bigger role in the book, leading to even greater character development. Nevertheless, this is one great read, for ALL lovers of fiction, not just those preferring the western genre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love westerns and all the five star reviews had me excited about reading this book. I will say this - the book is fast-paced with lots of action. And the first few chapters are excellent with several great surprises.

But ultimately the convoluted plot left me shaking my head. Too many of the plot-twists just did not ring true to me. There also seemed to be too many western stereotypes here with paper-thin characters. (Although I give the author credit for his female characters who are more fully developed than most of his male characters.)

All in all, a pleasant read but not much more. Still, recommended for those who like old-fashioned westerns.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I chose this book because of the reviews as a gift for an avid Western reader who doesn't troll online or frequent bookstores because of an illness. He received this wonderful gift last Wednesday and finished it on his second day LOVING IT and wanting another "Steve Dancy" book NOW. He'll have to wait for Christmas it appears but thank you James D. Best for a fabulous new character and wonderfully written book from someone who loves his (quality) Westerns. You have brightened someone's days who needed some brightening! His daughter is jealous that SHE didn't give it to him. So, well done Mr. Best... Keep writing!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who loves history in general, and the old west in particular, I found that this book accurately portrays the time period. It immediately captures the reader and is one of those books that are difficult to put down.
You also find yourself almost living in the period, as if the characters are alive. You identify yourself with them and understand the hardships of living in Nevada during those times.
I am eagerly awaiting a sequel, or at least another book by this author. James Best is truly a talented writer that has done his homework.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading "The Shopkeeper", and I keep thinking to myself - Wow - that was a really good book. One of the best things about the story is that is not predictable (I'm really tired of many authors "formula" stories where you have it figured out after a couple chapters) And, the author has a descriptive way with words that makes you feel like you're right there witnessing the story. I found myself staying up at night to read "just one more chapter" before I had to force myself to put it down. I'm really looking forward to the next Steve Dancy tale.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an fast paced, easy read. But the story raises a key question for me. The book's hero, Steve Dancy, commits virtually all the same crimes as the villain, Sean Washburn -- lying, intimidating others for their own gain, buying politicians and judges, and most importantly, premeditated murder. This is a hero who believes he has the right to be judge and jury, to decide who lives and dies, and that his personal goals surpass any one else's. So, what makes Dancy a hero and Washburn a villain? You can't tell the difference from their behavior. The book is well-written, but the characters were all more or less thugs. Some just had more money or quicker wits than others. Dancy is on a track to become the next Washburn. The author seems unaware of this irony.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't generally read westerns, but I've picked up a couple of Best's Steve Dancy books on Amazon. Discovering a good author is one of the things I like most about having a Kindle. I don't recall ever seeing these books at a brick/mortar bookstore.

Best doesn't create an epic like Lonesome Dove. He has more in common with Zane Grey or Max Brand. His hero, Steve Dancy, is a former gun shop owner from New York City, a very wealthy man who decides to go West and journal about his experiences with the idea of becoming a best selling author ala Mark Twain. Dancy is an ethical man who through circumstances finds that he has do unethical things to seek justice for a friend. He's accompanied by a band of sidekicks--Pinkerton agents, a mine owner who is odds with one of the villains, a local doctor and storekeeper. There's a damsel in distress, of course, but she turns out to be a surprisingly tough nut herself.

This is good light reading, entertaining for slow weekend. Recommended.
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