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The Borgia Mistress (The Poisoner Mysteries #3)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  692 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Francesca Giordano joins forces with her lover, Cesare Borgia, in order to decrypt a conspiracy against Pope Alexander VI, after he and the papal court is forced to flee from Rome,
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,039)
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TheFountainPenDiva
Well now, THAT was one hell of an ending. Didn't see the Cathar heresy popping up. Still, I was hoping for an epic confrontation between Francesca and that mad monk Morozzi. That means there jus HAS to be another novel in the works.

Granted, the appearance of Mother Berndette and her knowing Francesca's history wasn't all that surprising and of course I'd long suspected her motives. However that didn't get in the way of the breakneck pacing and of my admiration of Francesca. She really is a marve
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Becca
This book was bloody amazing. Renaissance Italy is now officially my favourite genre of historical fiction, followed closely by Renaissance England – sorry, Philipa Gregory. You can’t make me love Tudor and Renaissance England more than I do Italy. The world of Renaissance Italy is fascinating, wonderful, beautiful, colourful, vicious, and downright sexy. And The Borgia Mistress encompasses what I love most about any historical fiction in Renaissance Italy; the families, be it the Medici, the Sf ...more
Denise
As the enemies of the new Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) close in, he is forced to flee Rome. His poisoner, Francesca Giordano, goes with him. Her Jewish friend, David, tags along in the disguise of a court jester. He has informed her that his spy network has discovered that there is a new (and highly sophisticated) assassin on his way to kill the Pope. Such an event would throw all of Europe into chaos as the various power struggles ensue. It would also allow Savonarola--a religious fanatic ...more
Elaine
Facts taken from this book.


Jove---the Supreme Being in the universe. He who commandeth and controleth all. He is to be respected and revered, His will is to be obeyed always.
15th century, Rome, the Pope was called Jove.
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder
Jove is probably an anglicization of the Old Latin Jovis which translates into English as Jupiter, the Roman King of Gods. In eighteenth and nineteenth centu
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Elizabeth
This was overall an enjoyable read that left me wanting more.

Compared to the previous two books in this series, I wasn't terribly impressed; the adventure plot was rather too predictable (especially for those that prefer the Chekhov's Gun school of plot-writing), and I felt there was too much wishy-washy "oh my life is hard, I am such a bad person, wah wah PTSD and family and relationship dramaz!!" on Francesca's part. The supporting characters that Poole developed so well over the last couple
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Lett'
ma chronique sur mon blog

Ce livre n’a juste rien à voir avec les autres, l’auteur a choisi de jouer la carte de l’originalité en tournant son histoire beaucoup plus sur Francesca et sa vie chaotique. Bref, tout ça pour une histoire intrigante et qui termine cette saga avec un point d’honneur.

Pour le deuxième tome, j’avais dit que l’action ne m’avait pas contenté, qu’il y avait un truc de pas fini, un peu répétitif du premier aussi ; l’auteur, comme si elle avait entendu mon reproche, nous fait i
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Amanda
Author Sara Poole continues her Borgia novels in The Borgia Mistress, the continued adventures of Borgia family poisoner Francesca Giordano. These days, the Borgias are quickly becoming the hot new property in the historical fiction world. Propelled by the Showtime series The Borgias, it seems like more and more novels try to work the Borgia name in to their titles of the sake of a perceived connection (that especially seemed to be the case with this series when it jumped from Poison to Borgia B ...more
Heather
“The Borgia Mistress: A Novel” by Sara Poole is a historical fiction story that takes place in Rome around the year 1493. The lead character, Francesca Giordano, is the court poisoner to House of Borgia and Rodrigo Borgia who becomes Pope Alexander VI. Francesca’s father was a prisoner to the House of she was raised in the household along with Borgia’s son, Cesare Borgia, who eventually becomes Francesca’s lover. Francesca has to unravel a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart Pope Alexander’s ...more
Judy
I want to start this off by saying that while I was reading most of this book, I was falling asleep...not by any fault of the author, I'm just extremely pregnant, and as soon as I lay down, it seems that my mind doesn't want me to stay awake to read!

That being said, I thought this was another excellent installation in Poole's Poisoner Mysteries. In this book, Francesca befriends an abbess who has information about her mother's death, but things aren't what they seem. Francesca's sexual relations
...more
Michelle
(3.5 stars) The third book in the Poisoner mystery series has the court on the move to protect the Pope from his enemies. Francesca is still searching for the ones responsible for her father's murder and she is continuing to have issues sleeping and is haunted by her dreams. Things become more tense as several servants are found dead, of unknown cause. She worries that a new poisoner may be around. Francesca's past comes to the forefront as she meets a woman, now a nun, who knew her mother. As s ...more
Sherri K
Again i'm so suprised as nothing about this book should have made it interesting to me, but at this point i'm hoping there is a 4th in the series!! There are parts that are slow, like the first book had some, but there are twists and suprises that mke this a good book to read!
Mazohyst
Is this the last book in this series? I am sure it isn't but I wish it was. I'd be perfectly happy if this series ended right here. Yes, the main conflict hasn't been resolved, there are many loose ends, etc. But I don't think Poole should have dragged this on for this long.

While this book is vastly better than the second, it definitely is not on the level of the first. I still do not enjoy Francesca's character, however, some of her circumstances intrigued me, especially her history. While a lo
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Denise
In the third book of this historical fiction series about a young woman who took up the position of poisoner in the service of the Borgia family after her father's murder, Francesca has to deal not only with a highly skilled and as yet unknown assassin reported to be on the way to Viterbo, where the pope and his family are currently staying, but also with learning the truth about a deeply traumatic experience from her childhood and the repressed memories of it that are surfacing in her increasin ...more
Pam
I am continuing to enjoy the Poisoner Mysteries series, although this third one is my least favorite of the three so far. What I love about the series is: Francesca with her dark side always fighting with her good side; the characters that I have come to love reading about; and the mystery steeped in some sort of ancient religious historical significance, although the mystery part in this one was somewhat predictable. We learn more in this book about Francesca's past and how it has shaped her in ...more
Sue
I picked this book up on a whim in the library because I thought it looked interesting. Although it is a clearly a novel, at least some of the characters were real. I wish I could give it a 3.5 because I thought it was well-written and entertaining. I just thought the ending was a little too far-fetched for me. It was interesting to read about the power struggle between Pope Alexander VI and Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, "Their most Catholic Majesties". It was also interesting to read how the ...more
Quadrophenia718
I kind of adore the Poisoner mysteries. They're pretty much what I am hoping to get -- and generally don't -- when I read Philippa Gregory. They're engaging, well-written, entertaining, sexy, and great fun. Sure, it's easier working with invented characters in a historical setting than trying to get in the minds of actual people, but Sara Poole doesn't try and couch her characters in "certes" and "forsooths" in an effort to toss in period inappropriate dialogue. It makes for a much better read. ...more
Nicole
Not quite as engaging as the first two books in the series, but I still really enjoy the characters. I am hoping the author continues the series!
kelly
I enjoyed this book as a light fun summer read. Some of the issues I had with the first two books (too much description of clothes and food, boring narrative, etc) are better. Francesca is becoming a much more interesting and multi-dimensional character, although her constant rambling about her dark nature or whatever is a little annoying (and where I have a seen her back story before . . . hm). I was really enjoying the book until I completely called the ending about half-way through and spent ...more
Lauren
I absolutely adored this volume of The Poisoner Mysteries and would recommend it to anyone who likes some mystery AND romance thrown into their historical fiction. The characters, to me, are well-developed and even in their weakest moments, strong. They are utterly human, and in that respect, they are extremely believable. The story is paced appropriately, and it's so interesting and twisty that I honestly found it difficult to put the book down. For anyone who can get into it, it will be an EXT ...more
Jennifer
Another gripping installment in the Poisoner novels--I'm starting to really get into this historical thriller genre.
In this novel Francesca's decent into what she considers to be madness is seemingly more realistic than previously, perhaps because we are finally given some background information as to why she is the way she is. The revelation of what happened to her mother has opened up a whole new mystery for the reader, and once again I find myself looking forward to the next novel. It's fun
...more
Kim McGee
I always enjoy books about those wicked Borgias and The Borgia Mistress is no exception. Sara Poole handles the court intrigue like an expert and we are witness to the dirty politics, spies and allegiances
between the power hungry Spain, France and Pope Borgia's unlimited ego. The main character in all this is Francesca who is the Vatican's poisoner, sometimes lover to Cesare Borgia and court confidant. Her task is not only to taste all of the Pope's food and keep everyday objects clean of hidden
...more
Marlee
While I still enjoyed this book, I didn't like it as much as the first two in the series. It seemed to deviate a lot from the plot of the first two and didn't even touch on Morrozzi, the main antagonist from them. Instead, Poole introduced an entirely new antagonist without completing the existing plot lines. Overall, I will say that I enjoyed the series but wish I hadn't been left with so many questions and loose ends when I finished.
Nicole
I love this story, but this was my least favorite of the three to date. I really like the fact that the main character Francesca is flawed, but this book actually felt like the point was flagrant and pointless sex scenes. This book was set outside of Rome and was absent of many of the characters that show the "redeeming" parts of Francesca. I thought the story was interesting but, as mentioned already, was greatly lacking the depth that the other two books have. I'm really hoping the next is bet ...more
Hermine
I was looking forward to reading this because of the previous books in the series, but this one disappointed a bit.

The story was predictable. For me I lost the excitement and anticipation I feel with a good thriller. I never got to the point where I couldn't put the book down because I had to know what happens next. With this book I felt like I knew how it would end so it was just a matter of finishing the book. That's not how I like my books. I want suspense but never got that here.
Kcatty
Full review when I finish moving back to college.
Tonya Heffelbower
Francesca is still employed by the Pope, but has some very dark demons that are haunting her surrounding her mother. We learn in this book about what truly happened to Francesca's mother and how this has profoundly shaped the nightmares and visions that Francesca experiences. The villain manages to use Francesca for her own evil plot. She doesn't know who to trust and finds respite with an unlikely character. Enjoyed getting to know what drives his woman.
Melanie
I adore this series. Currently I have a little obsession with all things Borgia and this fits right in with it. Hoping to read more in the "Poisoner" mysteries in the future! *Note I would definitely recommend at least watching a trailer for the tv show as whilst the book is very different the characters form perfectly in my head the way they are in the show .. most unusual for me* V""V
Bcoghill Coghill
This has been a great series.
There is something interesting in the way our author puts together a sentence. The plot is great, the characters interesting, the whole Borgia period is interesting but what makes me recommend this is the sentences and paragraphs. They are almost distracting in the way you observe in really great books.
Not that this book is really great but there it is.
Christine
Overall this series was a surprise. I had expected it to have the Borgia's as the central characters and everything revolve around them. However, the stories revolved around the Pope's poisoner and the uncovering of plots to either oust Pope Alexander or destroy the Church.

All in all an interesting series and the way appears open for further books ...
Eli
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Another job that my high school counselor failed to mention: Papal poisoner. Pope Alexander VI's life is Francesca Giordano's responsibility. She monitors what he eats & drinks while keeping an eye out for anyone who could be an assassin.

Good pacing and an interesting setting.
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Sara Poole is the pen name of a NY Times bestselling author who is branching out to write historical novels.
Her long-time fascination with Renaissance Italy and with the Borgias in particular has led her in this new direction. It corresponds nicely with her interest in botany as especially regards the poisonous plants flourishing all around us. Sara lives in the Northeast with her husband and a m
...more
More about Sara Poole...
Poison (The Poisoner Mysteries, #1) The Borgia Betrayal (The Poisoner Mysteries, #2) Brel and Chanson: A Critical Appreciation

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