The King’s Fool Mysteries


Book One

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Greenwich, 1529

Lovers of historical fiction never seem to tire of reading about the Tudors, and this new take on a jester detective gives you a whole new perspective of that turbulent court. Will is the only man who—as the king’s entertainer, chief gossip-monger, spy and loyal adviser—knows all of the king’s secrets…and almost everyone else’s within the walls of the king’s palaces.

Will enjoys an enviable position at the court of Henry VIII. But an intimate moment with a male courtier finds Will possibly part of a complex conspiracy, especially when this same courtier is found dead, his throat cut. Amid the crisis at court when divorce threatens Queen Catherine’s place by her own lady’s maid Anne Boleyn, Will must draw on all his wit and ingenuity to get to the bottom of the treacherous and deadly goings-on at the court before further tragedy strikes.

This is the first in a Tudor mystery series, featuring King Henry VIII’s real court jester, Will Somers, during Henry’s troubled reign.


“Little is known about Will Somers, who became court jester to Henry VIII at the age of about 20 and held that position for the rest of his life. Which, of course, makes him irresistible to Jeri Westerson, who has already written a series of medieval noir novels. COURTING DRAGONS is the first in a new series narrated by Will himself, a sprightly figure with a well-cultivated flair for gossip and a vigorously pansexual appetite. It’s this latter that embroils him in the murder of a Spanish diplomat and a murky blackmail scheme, as well as a possible plot to kidnap Princess Mary. “The court was full of dragons,” Will observes. “Which dragons must I slay to protect Henry? And which to protect myself?” — Alida Becker, New York Times Book Review

“Jeri Westerson is at the top of her game with Courting Dragons, which brings the long-ago past to roaring life. As for Will Somers, the wise, witty and sexually adventurous court jester she has enlisted as her hero, he’s both an ideal guide to the tangled history of the Tudors and the kind of sleuth a reader will follow anywhere.”                                                                                               Louis Bayard, bestselling author of THE PALE BLUE EYE, now a Netflix film

“The Tudor court as seen through the eyes of wily Will Somers, Henry VIII’s jester, comes to vivid life in this sparkling mystery. Will is a wry voice in a dangerous world. The twists and turns of fate as he navigates the treachery keep you turning the pages late into the night.”                                 C. W. Gortner, bestselling author of THE TUDOR SECRET
“Westerson’s new series introduces a reluctant detective who’s no fool…Familiar historical figures seen from a different viewpoint add spice to the mystery.” Kirkus Reviews
“This impressive series launch from Westerson introduces an unusual lead, Will Somers, Henry VIII’s actual court jester…Somers proves an able sleuth, and Westerson does a fine job evoking the period’s political intrigue.”  — Publishers Weekly
I had a great time reading this book as it blends genres that I thoroughly enjoy; Historical Fiction and Murder/Mystery. A classic who-dun-it wrapped up in a Tudor English setting, right at the heart of the sovereign court. The characters are engaging and relatable, Will Somers is a flawed character in many ways which makes him entertaining and realistic. His vices are counter-productive to every-day living within his setting, but he has them all the same. His relationships with those around him are spectacularly written and captivating. But, it is his fears and reactions to the events unfolding around him, how they personally impact him, that drive the story onwards.”  –Jenn C, Netgalley review
“A superb fictional tapestry of court life under one of England’s most charismatic monarchs, superbly plotted with lots of twists and turns, sparkling dialogue and blessed with a terrific cast of exquisitely drawn characters, Courting Dragons is a fascinating piece of historical fiction and a highly entertaining whodunit. I simply can’t wait for the next installment!”Goodreads

Read an excerpt

Will, a silly-looking fellow.

                                                       Henry with Queen Mary, his first daughter, obviously painted after his death. That’s Will in the background. 

This is a fanciful later portrait of Henry and his three children…and Jane Seymour, the only queen who gave him a son and died in childbed days later. Will is in the far right pane with a monkey on his back.


Welcome to the Zazzle King’s Fool Store! 

Click on the jester hat below to take you to it.  In order to actually get to the page, you must either sign in first, or create an account on or you will get an page error message. Only two products so far; the t-shirt and the mug.