The year is 1523, and England is again preparing for war against its mortal enemy, France. Cardinal Wolsey is firmly in power as King Henry VIII’s right-hand man who is about to open Parliament, but Sir Thomas More’s star is slowly rising. London is busy, and at the center of it, all is Wolsey’s trumpeter and groom, Anthony Blanke. In this chaos of Wolsey’s household where murder and betrayal lie, and the enemies of the Cardinal begin to pile up. It is up to Anthony Blanke to clear his name and find the murderer before it is too late. Anthony’s latest thrilling adventure occurs in Steven Veerapen’s novel, “Of Judgement Fallen: An Anthony Blanke Tudor Mystery.”
Thank you, Polygon Books and Steven Veerapen, for sending me a copy of this novel. I enjoyed the first Anthony Blanke novel, “Of Blood Descended,” so when I heard that there was going to be a second mystery, I could not wait to read it.
Veerapen opens his novel with his first victim, Lancelot Cosyn, a scholar who is in a lot of pain and is on a mission. He is a man who detests Cardinal Wolsey, who he thinks is the source of evil in England, and he has chosen to take action by visiting the great man. Unfortunately, he is found dead inside Wolsey’s home before the meeting. Wolsey assigns Anthony Blanke the task of finding the person behind the murder of Cosyn before the news reaches the King’s ear and before Parliament opens.
As Anthony begins his investigation, more bodies of the Cardinal’s enemies start to pile up around him, so he enlists the help of Sir Thomas More to find the murderer. The color of his skin and how close Anthony is to the case make people suspect him of being involved in these dastardly deeds. Anthony, his friend Mark, and a pup named Bo work with Thomas More to prove Anthony’s innocence and determine why these people were murdered and who was behind the chaos in London.
What I love about this series is the diversity that Veerapen has chosen to show in Tudor England. Racism and religious issues are complex issues to discuss. Still, Veerapen has given his audience a window into the past and showed what it might have been like for a person of color to prove themselves in the court of Henry VIII while also dealing with people deemed as heretics for their beliefs.
This was a well-written mystery full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I had no clue who might have done it until the end, a sign of a fantastic mystery writer. If you are a fan of the first Anthony Blanke murder mystery and want another adventure, “Of Judgement Fallen: An Anthony Blanke Tudor Mystery” by Steven Veerapen must be on your to-be-read pile.