Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Post by Steven Veerapen, Author of 'Of Judgement Fallen': An Anthony Blanke Tudor Mystery

2 March 2023

Special Guest Post by Steven Veerapen, Author of 'Of Judgement Fallen': An Anthony Blanke Tudor Mystery

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Spring, 1523. Henry VIII readies England for war with France. The King’s chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey, prepares to open Parliament at Blackfriars. The eyes of the country turn towards London. But all is not well in Wolsey’s household. A visiting critic of the Cardinal is found brutally slain whilst awaiting an audience at Richmond Palace. He will not be the last to die.

Given recent history in the UK, few would dispute that the calling of parliaments can swiftly turn into bloody affairs – albeit nowadays the dagger thrusts tend to be metaphorical. In planning a sequel to my novel “Of Blood Descended”, which introduced Wolsey’s trumpeter-turned-sleuth Anthony Blanke, I therefore couldn’t resist using the summoning of the 1523 ‘Black Parliament’ (so-called because of its being held at the Blackfriars) as a backdrop. Here was a world of intrigue, of nosey politicians eager to discover the goings on at the centre of the political world, and of religious interests bent on making their voices heard.

Sequels, I’ve found, can be difficult animals. Whilst the main cast is present and the personalities formed, there remains the challenge of providing new journeys, new problems, and – in the case of murder mysteries – new bodies.

“Of Judgement Fallen” explores the corruption present in religious politics in the years before Henry VIII began his journey to Reformation. When a visiting critic of Cardinal Wolsey, primed to unleash his tongue against the proud prelate, is found horrifically murdered in Richmond Palace, Anthony Blanke is once again pressed into service. As London and Westminster fill with provincial MPs, and as further critics of Wolsey turn up dead, he must discover whether the killer is friend or foe to the household. In doing so, he might well find himself under suspicion.

In his quest for justice – and in a bid to clear his own name of suspicion – Anthony is forced to serve Wolsey’s erstwhile ally, Sir Thomas More. I thus had the pleasure of bringing to life this figure, known to some as a saint and to others as a religious fanatic. As always, the Tudor court provides fertile ground for constructing larger-than-life personalities with dubious motives. Will More help Anthony, or will he suspect him?

I hope readers will enjoy returning to the world of Henry VIII, Wolsey, and Anthony Blanke. I certainly did. And with corruption having been uncovered in international politics and now in the religious sphere, the question remains of whether Anthony will find murder and intrigue elsewhere in Henrician England. I hope he will…

“Of Judgement Fallen” is available at all good book stores. I hope you enjoy it.

Steven Veerapen

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About the Author

Steven Veerapen is a writer of fiction and nonfiction and a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde who specialises in sixteenth-century literature. His first novel was The Queen’s Consort, which focused on Mary Queen of Scots’ infamous husband, Lord Darnley. Steven’s other books include the Simon Danforth trilogy, the Queen’s Spies trilogy, and three non-fiction works: Blood Feud, Elizabeth and Essex, and Slander and Sedition in Elizabethan Law, Speech, and Writing. Find out more at and you can follow Steven on Instagram @steven.veerapen.3 and on Goodreads and Twitter @ScrutinEye

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