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January 12 , 2016

The Ashtabula Hat Trick

A Milan Jacovich Mystery
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Overview

The people of Queenstown, Ohio, don’t take kindly to strangers. But they have no choice in the matter after a man’s body is found in a local park, pants unzipped and stabbed through the heart—and a second man’s body turns up days later, his head bashed in. Local law enforcement needs help with the town’s first-ever murder investigation.

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Hidden History of Ashtabula County

Picturesque Ashtabula County harbors a rich and sometimes strange history. Ohio’s Western Reserve settlers were astonished by the ancient graveyards they found that yielded bones belonging to a gigantic race. Mr. Buck of Conneaut lived a secluded life married to himself, assuming the character and dress of the fictional Mrs. Buck. A legend…

Private investigator Milan Jacovich (pronounced MY-lan YOCK-ovitch) tags along when his main squeeze, Cleveland homicide detective Tobe Blaine, is dispatched to rural Ashtabula County to handle the case.

Word travels fast in the small town, and the mixed-race couple receives a cold welcome. The motel manager doesn’t like their looks, the coroner conveniently forgets key details, and patrons at the local watering hole flaunt their disrespect for Tobe’s out-of-town badge and her skin color.

Milan enlists his young assistant, Kevin “K.O.” O’Bannion, to glean information from the town’s teens, who tell tales of their parents’ fervent devotion to their local pastor, an outspoken bigot. Did homophobia factor in the murders?

Looming over the case is nearby Conneaut prison—privately run, overcrowded, and rumored to employ some questionable methods (as well as many local residents). Inside its walls, a powerful convict known as “The Prophet” just might have the information Tobe and Milan need to solve the case—if they can get him to talk.

Queenstown might only be an hour’s drive from Cleveland, but Milan, Tobe, and K.O. find themselves strangers in a strange land. They also soon find themselves neck-deep in serious trouble.

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