When I first saw a short blurb about The Shopkeeper as a great new western from up and coming author James D. Best, I wasn’t sure what to think. The description from the back cover, about an eastern dude (the eponymous shopkeeper) running into trouble in the west, did not inspire me with thoughts of grand frontier adventure. None the less I picked it up as an e-book for a recent flight and gave it a shot.
The Shopkeeper is good. Really good. There are a couple of neat plot twists in the story, so I won’t say much about the plot, but rest assured it is highly entertaining. The setting is a Nevada filled with mining camps, scheming businessmen, and corrupt politicians. Despite the setting this is less a traditional western than a novel about cutthroat business in a largely lawless world.
The Shopkeeper is a quick read, and well worth the time of a western reader looking for something new but still wanting to play in the setting.