By Sara Poole
St. Martin’s Press, $14.99, 400 pages
The Borgia family is known for using poison to deal with its foes. If you are a fan of The Borgias on television, you will love Sara Poole’s latest book, The Borgia Betrayal. Readers met heroine Francesca Giordano, the Borgia court poisoner, in Poole’s previous novel, Poison. The year is 1493 and Rodrigo Borgia (Alexander VI) is pope. Francesca is responsible for keeping him and his family safe, but the danger and threat grows. She must balance her duty with her personal desire for revenge. This historical novel mixes political intrigue with romance, adventure, crime and suspense. It can be read as a stand-alone book or as part of the series. Travel between the crypts of Rome and throughout the streets of Italy. After reading the story, enjoy an interview with the author. She reveals her future plans for Francesca, who is a fascinating character. A historical timeline puts world events and details from the story into perspective. Poole includes portraits of key players such as Rodrigo and Lucrezia Borgia. Recommended reading and book club questions will keep fans of the Renaissance era very busy.