Augustus Mandrell is an assassin for hire.
He is most definitely not a secret agent of any sort nor does he work for any government agency. He is a killer and he works alone, despite many claims to being but part of Mandrell, Limited. If it seems like there are others in the organization besides him, people of all races and nationalities, it is only because Mandrell is a master of disguise and actually enjoys becoming a totally different persona especially if it solidifies the idea that there are others. Others is a good thing to have, or at least make others believe you have, because others will avenge you if a client gets ideas about paying the fee with lead. Mandrell is aware that the worry about reprisal is usually enough.
Mandrell is a man of mystery to those who hire him and to those of us who read about him. He is British for certain (as certain as anyone could be about Mandrell). He is likely in his early 30s based on his level of training in the finer arts of permanent dispatch and his thoughts and musings he is willing to share definitely shows a significant level of wisdom. Where, though, he learned what he knows about guns and knives and poisons and bombs and disguise and languages and a host of other talents, we are left to wonder.
These talents, of course, he definitely has as his exploits clearly show. They come in handy on many occasions as does his remarkable ability to change to Plan B or even Plan C when situations outside his control dictate. Mandrell certainly points out in his own way that heading into a task planning on improvisation is foolhardy but not being able to improvise when required is deadly and Mandrell can flex his plans with the best of them. In fact he is often so good at it that afterward you sometimes wonder if he did not plan things that way in the first place.
The activities of Mandrell "officially" begin with the first recorded commission, the Dr. Sherrock Commission, but he states in that epistle that while this was his first "major" undertaking as Mandrell, Limited, it was not his first elimination and he lets the reader know a couple that came before while hinting there were a couple more.
But nowhere in the reminiscing is there any definitive information as to how he got his training and why he chose to go into his current line of work. This absence is both frustrating and fascinating. It is also typical Mandrell who always lets those about him know only what he thinks they need to know to get his job done. Anything more is a waste and a danger and Mandrell does not care for either.
One other thing Mandrell does not care for, and this is vital for those thinking to hire him, is not coming up with the final payment once a job is successfully finished. And there are more than a couple of foolish souls who think that since the elimination is done and Mandrell really has no one to complain to, that last expenditure is not really needed. That thought is foolish. And terminal.