Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Borgia Betrayal

The Borgia Betrayal

A Novel

Poisoner Mysteries (Volume 2)

Sara Poole

St. Martin's Griffin




Before the Tudors, there were the Borgias. More passionate. More dangerous. More deadly.

From the author of Poison, called "stunning"* and "a fascinating page-turner," comes a new historical thriller, featuring the same intriguing and beautiful heroine: Borgia court poisoner, Francesca Giordano.

In the summer of 1493, Rodrigo Borgia, Alexander VI, has been pope for almost a year. Having played a crucial role in helping him ascend the chair of Saint Peter, Francesca, haunted by the shadows of her own past, is now charged with keeping him there. As court poisoner to the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy, this mistress of death faces a web of peril, intrigue, and deceit that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance.

As dangers close in from every direction, Francesca conceives a desperate plan that puts her own life at risk and hurls her into a nightmare confrontation with a madman intent on destroying all she is pledged to protect. From the hidden crypts of fifteenth-century Rome to its teeming streets alive with sensuality, obsession, and treachery, Francesca must battle the demons of her own dark nature to unravel a plot to destroy the Borgias, seize control of Christendom, and plunge the world into eternal darkness.

+Lauren Willig



"I see... ," the woman said. She walked a little distance across the room to glance out the small window facing the river. Moonlight fell across her face. A young woman, pleasing enough in appearance though hardly remarkable in a...


Praise for The Borgia Betrayal

“A nice accompaniment for this spring's The Borgias TV series, Poole's hypnotic, richly detailed historical provides an illuminating portrait of Italy's most powerful Renaissance family. . . . [An] aromatic elixir of political power plays, seductive romance, and dark derring-do.” —Publishers Weekly

“Poole's second historical title continues seamlessly from where Poison left us. . . . The characters are well drawn and the evocation of Renaissance Roman life is full of detail. The conclusion promises more conflict and adventure in the next book. . . . a good read. For historical fiction and romance readers.” —Library Journal

“Oh, those Borgias, the first family of crime, seem to leap from the pages of this sequel to Poison that reintroduces Francesca Giordano, poisoner for Pope Alexander, aka Rodrigo Borgia. Suspenseful, action-packed and fascinating, Poole's novel is replete with the atmosphere of the Renaissance.” —RT Book Review (4 stars)

“Working through this complex story, Poole weaves her tale like a fine piece of cloth, pulling the reader into the threads of Renaissance Rome. Here the Church is enveloped in corruption and foreign monarchs vie for the control of Christopher Columbus's newly discovered Novi Orbis, the New World. The novel, conveniently timed with the release of the HBO series 'The Borgias,' is Poole's second book with this cast of characters.” —Historical Novel Society

“A stunning debut . . . deftly mixing historical fact and fiction.” —Booklist (starred review) on Poison

“Francesca's a genuine firecracker of a heroine, and her dilemma plays out in a riveting fashion. Vivid, suspenseful, and capped with an ending that begs a sequel, this is a great first step on the way to the historical fiction A-list.” —Publishers Weekly on Poison

“A historical thriller brimming with intrigue, action, and enough double crosses to stump even the most venal of Renaissance popes . . . a fascinating page-turner.” —Lauren Willig, bestselling author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, on Poison

“A riveting historical thriller . . . Sara Poole's brilliant debut novel presents a race to the finish between good and evil that will leave you breathlessly awaiting what is surely the birth of a series.” —Sandra Worth, award-winning author of The King's Daughter, on Poison

“Five hundred years before the Sopranos and their hit men, there were the Borgias and their poisoners. . . . The heroine Francesca may be the mistress of poisoning, but in my book, Sara Poole is the new queen of historical suspense.” —Robin Maxwell, author of the award-winning The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn, on Poison

Poison presents the most unique heroine I have ever seen in a mystery series (a complex, angst-filled Renaissance Dexter). . . . The plot is as much a fast-paced thriller as a compelling mystery.” —Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boleyn, on Poison

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Sara Poole

Sara Poole lives in Connecticut, where her discovery of the abundance of deadly flora growing just beyond her doorstep prompted her interest in the poisoner's art.

Sara Poole

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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