From The Merlot Murders:
My family owned nearly five hundred acres near the small village of Atoka in the heart of Virginia’s affluent horse and hunt country. As the crow flies, it was about fifty miles from Washington, D.C. Our land had belonged to a member of the Montgomery family for more than two hundred years, a grant to my ancestor Hamish Montgomery for service to his country in the French and Indian War. He’d called it Highland Farm in honor of his regiment, the 77th Highlanders, whose exploits in that war were legendary.
The farm was located in an area that straddled Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, a part of the Old Dominion romantically famous not only for great scenic beauty but also as a history-haunted place of glory and tragedy. The streets of Middleburg, the town next door to Atoka, were named for the patriots who founded the country — Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, among others — a number of whom had lived locally. It was also the site of some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, or as we preferred to call it, “The War Between the States.”