To the passerby, Middleburg, Virginia looks like just another pretty country town, with rolling fields and a quaint downtown. But writer Vicky Moon, shows that this village just 50 miles west of Washington, D.C., is not your ordinary country hamlet in THE MIDDLEBURG MYSTIQUE: A Peek Inside the Gates of Middleburg, Virginia. “The town has always included a cast of local characters, “ Moon says. “And as one resident aptly notes, ‘We have one of everything here.’” That everything includes politicians (the Kennedys, Harrimans), Hollywood celebrities (actors Robert Duvall, Elizabeth Taylor), philanthropists (Paul Mellon, the Firestones), as well as a cast of local residents that once prompted a visitor to ask, “What is it about you people out there in Middleburg? Is there something in the well water?”THE MIDDLEBURG MYSTIQUE is an inside look at the people, places, and mystique that surround this horse-crazy Virginia village. “I often tell people that I have my finger on the pulse of Middleburg,” Moon says. “From my second floor office on West Washington Street, I can see the brick post office out my front window. The post office is the heartbeat of this village. It’s here that the news of the day—good news and bad – some of it true and the rest vaguely true—originates. There are 1,856 mailboxes. The zip code 20118 is so highly sought after, that there is a waiting list of 20-60 names at any given time.” THE MIDDLEBURG MYSTIQUE reveals why “20118” is such a desirable zip code. Through the years, there have been scandalous stories of divorce, such as when actor Robert Duvall’s wife ran off with the “hunky” pool man; and murders among the rich, like when arms heiress Susan Cummings shot her Argentinean polo-playing lover. Moon also tells stories of other less notorious, but still fascinating residents, such as 77-year-old Anna Beavers, who has spent her life collecting clothing for poor children, namely the employees of wealthy farm owners. There’s the freelance bartender who drinks his own mistakes—and often needs a ride home. And the party hostess who refused to call the rescue squad when her bartender died just as the guests were arriving—the poor soul couldn't be helped anyway, so why ruin the festivities? The same woman taught her 13-year-old grandson how to make a perfect Whiskey Sour on the theory that it was a necessary part of his liberal arts education, along with art appreciation and opera. Moon’s book is not just a collection of stories about the wealthy and their quirks, though. Scattered throughout are recipes for dishes served at traditional Middleburg events, such as the annual Hunt Breakfast (usually held at 2 PM). In these pages you learn how to tailgate Middleburg style—as well as make TV weatherman Willard Scott’s famous Strawberry Pie, and the ham biscuits served at Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding to Senator John Warner. Another chapter is devoted entirely to the gardens of Middleburg—and the four garden clubs that serve the area. And no description of Middleburg would be complete with some attention to the most important events in this horse-obsessed town: the fox hunts and steeplechase races.