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New mystery series is set in Yellow Springs

The Yellow Springs Street Fair and Music & Beer Fest — a day of art, music, street performers, food and beer — took over the downtown Yellow Springs on Saturday, Oct. 12. The street fair featured more than 250 handmade arts and crafts vendors, live music and local craft beer. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
The Yellow Springs Street Fair and Music & Beer Fest — a day of art, music, street performers, food and beer — took over the downtown Yellow Springs on Saturday, Oct. 12. The street fair featured more than 250 handmade arts and crafts vendors, live music and local craft beer. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The village of Yellow Springs is known as a community that dances to the sounds of a different orchestra. Antioch College is located here and that has something to do with the quirkiness of the town, but it is far more than that. Scott Geisel is a longtime resident of this offbeat burg and he celebrates the bohemian atmosphere to be found here in his novel “Fair Game — a Jackson Flint mystery Yellow Springs, Ohio.”

His protagonist, Jackson Flint, is a private investigator who works out of a tiny office along a back alley in the town’s central business district. As “Fair Game” opens, Flint is driving through the countryside when: “I knew it was a bad idea to stop. But it was a long, lonely stretch of road, and it was late and dark and had been raining all day. The girl walking along the berm was soaked.”

Flint pauses to offer her a ride. She tells him she’s trying to get to Yellow Springs. He says that is where he’s headed, that he lives there. They chat a bit — when he drops her off she vanishes into the night. After this mysterious encounter Flint starts wondering about her. Her sudden appearance along that remote highway begins to haunt him. Who was she? What was she doing? Where is she now?

An attorney contacts Flint to hire him to conduct an investigation. He wants our private eye to try to locate a woman who has been missing for many years. The lawyer says he is acting on behalf of a client who wishes to remain anonymous. While Flint would certainly appreciate any revenue that might be generated by taking on the assignment, he’s uncomfortable about accepting this task if he cannot identify who is actually hiring him.

“Fair Game — A Jackson Flint mystery Yellow Springs, Ohio” by Scott Geisel (Fox & Possum Publishing, 245 pages, $12.99)
“Fair Game — A Jackson Flint mystery Yellow Springs, Ohio” by Scott Geisel (Fox & Possum Publishing, 245 pages, $12.99)

His apprehensions about accepting the gig took this reviewer straight into flashback mode while envisioning James Garner as the PI Jim Rockford; gosh I don’t know, this seems a bit iffy but I sure could use the cash. Flint agrees to begin searching for the long-lost daughter of what he soon realizes is a prominent Yellow Springs family.

Flint’s a single dad. We follow him as he traverses the funky environs of Yellow Springs; his favorite hangouts; coffee shops, restaurants, and our beloved local grocery store, Tom’s Market, where Jackson flirts with his love interest among the produce aisles.

Flint’s sidekick, Brick, is a hulking presence who lives out in the woods. Flint realizes he must conduct surveillance upon a house in Dayton. He hires someone else to conduct the surveillance — he’s not too fond of sitting in a car for hours. He prefers action.

There’s plenty of that as the story cascades to crescendo. The ultimate showdown occurs on the streets of downtown Yellow Springs, teeming with visitors attending the semi-annual Street Fair, as Jackson and his crew try to solve the case and apprehend the bad guys.

Geisel is already hard at work on the next book in this series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Fair Game — A Jackson Flint mystery Yellow Springs, Ohio” by Scott Geisel (Fox & Possum Publishing, 245 pages, $12.99)