Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Mercenary of Urga - Book Tour



Tale of the Sica, Book #5

Action Adventure / Crime

Date Published: 04-11-2023

Great-uncle Leon, the most successful assassin in our family’s 2000-year-old history, is back.

It’s 1920, the Great War is over, and the death rattles of the White Russian armies echo across Europe and Asia as they crumble one by one before the advancing Bolsheviks. It seems that Leon’s days with the British Secret Service Bureau are over.

But when a battalion of British soldiers is shanghaied by a diabolical Baltic baron hellbent on conquering Mongolia and backed by an international organization of fascists, Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, head of the SIS, sends his number-one assassin to take care of business.

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From London and Paris to the Crimea, Georgia and war-ravaged China and Mongolia, Leon and his accomplice, the beautiful Countess Catherine von Merenberg, are plunged headfirst into a maelstrom of horror to rescue the British troops and stop the reign of the Bloody White Baron.


About the Author

Jonathan Harries began his career as a trainee copywriter at Foote, Cone & Belding in South Africa and ended it as Chairman of FCB Worldwide with a few stops in between.

After winning his first Cannes Lion award, he was offered a job at Grey Advertising in South Africa, where he worked as a copywriter and ended up as CEO at age 29, just before emigrating to the US. Like most immigrants in those days, he started once again from scratch. After a five-year stint as Executive Creative Director of Hal Riney in Chicago, he was offered a senior position at FCB. Within ten years, he became the Global Chief Creative Officer and spent the next ten traveling to over 90 countries, racking up 8 million miles on American Airlines alone.

He began writing his first novel, Killing Harry Bones, in the last year of his career and transitioned into becoming a full-time author several years ago, just after retiring from FCB. He’s been writing ever since while doing occasional consulting work for old clients.

Jonathan has a great love of animals, and he and his wife try to go on safari every year. They’ve been lucky enough to visit game reserves in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, India, and Sri Lanka.


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“I damn well hope so,” said my cousin Brian when I told him that as far as I could determine, no further documentation existed on our family’s nearly two-thousand-year-old assassination business. “You’ve already ruined the reputation of family members, both deceased and living.”

“I’m not sure any of them had much of a reputation to begin with.”

“That’s as may be, but we’ve come to a firm decision regarding your status, and I’ve been tasked to tell you not to expect any invitations to future family gatherings. These include—” he pulled out a folded scrap of paper from his pocket “—weddings, birthday parties, confirmations, bar mitzvahs, births, funerals, and sundry events.”

            “What sort of ‘sundry events?’” I asked.

            “I don’t know,” he replied, folding the paper and putting it back in his pocket. “I’m only telling you what we all agreed to on the Zoom call.”

            “To which I was not invited,” I said, with what I thought was justifiable indignation.

            “Well then, a Zoom call is probably one of the things included under ‘sundry events.’” He stood up and, without even offering to split the check, walked out of the restaurant.

I sat for a moment contemplating just what an ungrateful bunch of swine certain members of my arbor familiae were. The Tailor of Riga, the first book in the Tales of the Sica series, had injected a little excitement into their otherwise-mundane lives when I first published it a few years ago. I didn’t expect a tip of the hat from any of them, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the tip of a boot—a threat made by more than one irate relative. And the business end of a boot was the least of the violence promised if further stories emerged. All this from family who claimed never to have killed anyone.


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