Start reading The Shopkeeper (A Steve Dancy Tale) on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


The Shopkeeper (A Steve Dancy Tale) [Kindle Edition]

James D. Best
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
Borrow this book for free on a Kindle device with Amazon Prime. Learn more about Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
Join Prime to borrow this book at no cost.
The Kindle Owners' Lending Library gives you access to thousands of books, including New York Times bestsellers, to borrow and read for free.
  • Borrow a book as frequently as once per month
  • No due dates — keep books as long as you like and return them when it's time for something new
  • Read on any Amazon Kindle device

Amazon Prime members also enjoy:
  • Unlimited streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, with no minimum order size

For more information about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library visit our help page.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 67%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Whispersync for Voice

Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook. Learn more or scan your Kindle library to find matching professional narration for the Kindle books you already own.

Add the professional narration of The Shopkeeper (A Steve Dancy Tale) for a reduced price of $3.49 after you buy this Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $2.99  
Hardcover, Large Print --  
Paperback $11.66  
Audio, CD $23.96  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $14.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
100 M&T
100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
Looking for something good to read? Browse our picks for 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime, brought to you by the Amazon Book Editors.

Book Description

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. Is a New York City Shopkeeper tough enough to survive in the Wild West?

Pinkertons, hired assassins, and aggrieved bystanders escalate the feud until it pulls in all the moneyed interests and power brokers in Nevada.

Editorial Reviews


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

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"--Larry Winget, True West Magazine, March, 2012
"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
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1587369222
  • Publisher: Queen Beach (November 21, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000ZVSCK4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,539 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old West - Come Alive January 30, 2008
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
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gift! April 5, 2008
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!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shopkeeper January 17, 2008
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shopkeeper November 11, 2007
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
80 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shopkeeper January 23, 2008
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A hero who acts like a villain March 1, 2009
By Miki
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fast read, good entertainment June 25, 2012
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Western
I was expecting a something a bit different from your standard western. With a cover that looks closer to historical fiction and a shopkeeper as the protagonist, I expected... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Josh Gribble
3.0 out of 5 stars Good easy read
This is a good easy read in the Western Genre. The bad guy got what was coming to him and the good guy prevailed against long odds.
Published 2 months ago by John B. Henderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild West Action
I became James D. Best fan after reading Tempest at Dawn. This is no Tempest, but Mr. Best has a way with words that makes his writing style unique. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Georgi
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read and entertaining but becomes a bit implausible for a...
Easy read and entertaining for the first third of the book. Fast moving and builds an imperfect but believable character Steve Dancy. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stan
2.0 out of 5 stars The shopkeeper
I do not wish to share my thoughts or reviews about any book that I am reading or have read..
Published 6 months ago by Debra Bender
5.0 out of 5 stars Good author
The Steve Darcy character is developed very well and the story moves without many drags. I was delighted to return to the "wild" west with a little of Grisham like... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, different twist than most westerns..
Gunslingers, robber barons, smart politicians, an easterner with an unusual background, a beautiful babe in need of rescue, or is she? Good yarn!
Published 6 months ago by W. A. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I concur with most of the reviews...this is a great book. Characters are life-like. I found myself not being able to put this book down.
Published 6 months ago by Phillip S. Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I love a good western and this series is one of the best. It is always exciting and something is always happening.
James D Best is a great western writer in this series.
Published 7 months ago by bee
5.0 out of 5 stars Best western (puns intended)
Read the description - that will tell you w the book is about. Here's what you really need to know: Mr Best has written the best western I have ever read. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J crump
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

More About the Author

James D. Best is the author of The Shopkeeper, Leadville, Murder at Thumb Butte, and The Return in the Steve Dancy series. His other books include Tempest at Dawn, Principled Action, The Shut Mouth Society, and The Digital Organization.

James has written monthly columns for two magazine, ghost written several books, and published numerous journal articles. He lives with his wife, Diane, in Omaha, Nebraska.

You can learn more about James and his books at

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Topic From this Discussion
Do readers use book trailers to help them select books?
I found a wonderful website that offers video production of book trails for a reasonable price. Very professional service and a high quality product! Here is a sample of one that was done for the science fiction thriller Exoskeleton.... Read more
Sep 12, 2010 by Y. Lewis |  See all 6 posts
I found a wonderful website that offers video production of book trails for a reasonable price. Very professional service and a high quality product! Here is a sample of one that was done for the science fiction thriller Exoskeleton.... Read more
Sep 12, 2010 by Y. Lewis |  See all 3 posts
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category