The Shopkeeper by James D. Best.
Wheatmark: Tucson, AZ, 2008.

Westerns are not usually my thing, but I read this one because I liked Best's The Shut Mouth Society. The story is a detective story set in 1879 in Nevada, related to a small mining town and state politics. When the Cutler brothers throw their weight around town, NY visitor Steve Dancy wonders why his whist partners, the respectable men of town, fail to do anything about the murderous behavior. He learns the Cutlers are only two of many hired guns in the employ of Sean Washburn, owner of several mining concerns, investor, and extortionist. Anyone who gets in his way is killed. Steve Dancy rights an injustice and is added to the hit list. As a retired New York City gun shop owner, Dancy figures he can attack Washburn's business interests, taking away his power. Washburn is more formidable than expected, and it becomes a fight to the death, moving beyond the town's boundaries.

I'm still not a huge western fan, but the story is engaging. I enjoy Best's style of writing, and it's a quick read.

related-silver mining, bank loans and investment in the old west, gunmen, Nevada, small mining towns, adventure
RL=YA-adult, adult book

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