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Also by James D. Best

The Steve Dancy Tales

The Shopkeeper


Murder at Thumb Butte

The Return

Jenny’s Revenge

Crossing the Animas

No Peace

Other Novels

Tempest at Dawn

The Shut Mouth Society


The Templar Reprisals


Principled Action

The Digital Organization

Write Great Fiction

Collaborative Works

Wanted, A Western Story Collection

Wanted II, A Western Story Collection

Miracles and Massacres

Being George Washington


“The James Best books … are about the best new western series to come along since Larry McMurtry.” True West Magazine

“You’ll find yourself lost in the book—the fast pace keeps it interesting.” Maritza Barone, Woman’s Day

“James D. Best has written at least six books. I read them and enjoyed them immensely.” Gary Clothier, Star Democrat

“This is a fast-paced tale with an interesting hero … you’ll certainly find enough twists and turns to provide an entertaining and exciting story.” Western Writers of America

“Best paces his stories so well readers will find it difficult to put down.” Diane Scearce, Nashville Examiner

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

“Once again, Best has penned a fine read.” Roundup Magazine

“I loved it! The story is told in such a classic, smooth tone—it’s really fast paced throughout.” Jonathon Lyons, Lyons Literary

“James D. Best is arguably one of the best writers of westerns.” Alan Caruba, Bookviews

“They are just excellent reading.” Holgerson’s Book and Bookstore

“This is a compelling narrative and as good as the best of classic westerns. James D. Best is a name to remember.” Saline River Chronicle

“The writing is clear and straightforward with plenty of action attached. For an entertaining read, The Shopkeeper draws high marks.” T. Akery, ’Bout Books

“Great stories, interesting and diverse characters and plenty of action! I have enjoyed every one of them.” Larry Winget, NYT/WSJ bestselling author

“The Steve Dancy series is as good as they come.” Roundup Magazine

“Best's writing style is a romp, and he nails the dialogue. Two thumbs up!” Leadville Laurel, Leadville Literary League

“[Tempest at Dawn is] the best novel EVER on the U.S. Constitution.”  Larry Schweikart, professor of history and author A Patriot’s History of the United States and a dozen other history books

“If you want to know the truth about the character of those gentlemen and you want to learn about the evolution of one of the greatest documents ever created by man---the Constitution of the United States---relax in your bed, favorite chair or recliner, and enjoy.”

Allen Ball, Beaufort Observer

“Thanks to James Best’s masterpiece, Tempest at Dawn, I felt like the 56th delegate at the Constitutional Convention. Vivid narrative and expressive dialogue.” Michael E. Newton, author The Path to Tyranny, Angry Mobs and the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

“The novel captures the real drama that ensued behind closed doors as they hammered out what is now the oldest living constitution and the foundation of the nation. Read it for its historical value. Read it for its dramatic value. But read it!” Alan Caruba, Bookviews

“The Shut Mouth Society is a fast-moving, well-written novel.” David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

"The novel has everything from intrigue and murder to romance.” Faith Friese Nelson, A Writer’s Journal

“Best makes Deluge a compelling—indeed frightening—story. This is a highly recommended natural disaster thriller, written with acute attention to reality and little, if any, needless melodramatics.” Jack Rochchester, The Fictional Café

The Templar Reprisals

A Best Thriller

James D. Best

Queen Beach Publishing


Copyright © 2021 James D. Best

All rights reserved

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.


Cover design by: Wayne Best

Original Cover Image: Gerardo Fraile

Published by Queen Beach Publishing

Printed in the United States of America

To Gary and Angie

Chapter 1

Paris had lost much of its charm. Greg Evarts started to express his disenchantment with their favorite city but decided to keep his mouth shut. There was no reason to dampen his wife’s enthusiasm.

She shook her head. “I can’t believe they ruined my city.”

“It’s not ruined,” he consoled.

“It’s no longer magical. In my book that’s the same as ruined.”

“Trish, you don’t really mean that.”

They were strolling across Pont Neuf to the Sequana restaurant on Île de la Cité island. Early for their reservation, they detoured into a bastion. Originally, the series of bastions had been designed so pedestrians could get out of the way of large carriages. Now they served as observation points to view the River Seine. They leaned against the stone railing and Patricia Baldwin hooked her arm through his as they watched the dinner cruise ships float gently up and down the river. Evening light played off the rippling water and they could hear faint dreamy music in the distance. It was perfect.

“You’re right, I didn’t mean it,” she said.

Evarts smiled and put his hand on her forearm.

“I do miss the Paris of my college years, though,” she said.

“It’s still here. You just have to look harder.”

“Greg, we’ve been looking for two days. So far, we’ve only spotted an echo. The Middle East attire and the forest of selfie-sticks bother me, but the soldiers are truly off-putting. How can the most romantic city in the world maintain its reputation with dead-serious soldiers marching everywhere in urban formations.”

“We’ve been visiting tourist attractions. Unfortunately, they’ve become targets for terrorism. You’ve got to admit the district around our hotel is Parisian to the core.”

“A pricy hotel in a niche district. That’s not the Paris of my youth.”

Evarts squeezed her forearm, saying nothing. He didn’t want to argue. Not this evening. This was their anniversary, and four years of marriage had

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