A rollicking, treasure hunting adventure, heavily flavored with African spice, reunites old friends and introduces new characters. Our heroes encounter dangers, both human, and wild, around every turn, while managing to enjoy the heady intoxication of romance in the jungle, giving a whole new meaning to “mile high club.

-Kim Everhart



Chap Harper masterfully weaves a story of adventure, danger, and romance that evokes memories of such great tales as King Solomon Mines and the white hunters in Africa. Once upon the Congo begins as historical fiction when tent boys from Henry Stanley’s 1887 Congo expedition accidently stumble upon an ancient wall that surrounded a quarry, blue hole, and a small stone house. This chance discovery isn’t discovered again until a journal and diamond ore samples were placed in the hands of Papa Doc Duvalier almost eighty years later. On an expedition financed by Haiti, an American geologist and his beautiful graduate student girlfriend face attacks by pygmy natives who consider the site sacred and by animals along the Aruwimi River that didn’t welcome humans invading their home. The natives rained down death by using poisoned tipped arrows narrowing down the number of explorers who safely returned to tell of their fateful trip into the Congo basin.

A series of adventures and romances that span nearly a hundred and twenty-five years will keep the reader turning pages. Although some of the same characters appear in this novel from his first book Once Upon a Reef, this novel stands on its own as a separate and distinct story. So remote and dangerous is the site of the mine, expeditions are limited to one in 1966 and another in 2010. Once Upon the Congo tells the story of all the expeditions to the diamond quarry and the lives, loves, and deaths of those who took part in a great African adventure. The reader will be held entranced as the climax of the story revolves around a battle with a small army dedicated to taking the quarry away from the expedition members and capturing the women for ransom.


Where to buy


Barnes & Noble


Published by Smoking Gun

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