* Book of the Year 2023 *
The Fortune Keeper
(Italian Renaissance Series, Book 3)
by Deborah Swift
Count your nights by stars, not shadows
~ Italian Proverb
~ Italian Proverb
Winter in Renaissance Venice
Mia Caiozzi is determined to discover her destiny by studying the science of astronomy. But her stepmother Giulia forbids her to engage in this occupation, fearing it will lead her into danger. The ideas of Galileo are banned by the Inquisition, so Mia must study in secret.
Giulia's real name is Giulia Tofana, renowned for her poison Aqua Tofana, and she is in hiding from the Duke de Verdi's family who are intent on revenge for the death of their brother. Giulia insists Mia should live quietly out of public view. If not, it could threaten them all. But Mia doesn't understand this, and rebels against Giulia, determined to go her own way.
When the two secret lives collide, it has far-reaching and fatal consequences that will change Mia's life forever.
Set amongst opulent palazzos and shimmering canals, The Fortune Keeper is the third novel of adventure and romance based on the life and legend of Giulia Tofana, the famous poisoner.
Murder and violence in keeping with the era.
'Her characters are so real they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf'
~ Historical Novel Society
DEBORAH SWIFT is a delver into archives, drinks too much tea, and loves antiques and old buildings. Her sturdy, stone-built house used to be the village primary school, and from her window she has a view of a few 17th century cottages, and behind those, green fields dotted with grazing sheep.
Historical fiction was a natural choice for Deborah as a writer because she always enjoyed the research aspect of design – poking about in archives and museums, not to mention the attraction of boned bodices and the excuse to visit old and interesting buildings.
She used to work as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, so enjoy the research aspect of creating historical fiction. In her books, Deborah likes to write about extraordinary characters set against the background of real historical events. Her first novel was The Lady's Slipper which was shortlisted for the Impress Prize, and her book The Poison Keeper, about the Renaissance poisoner Giulia Tofana, won the BookViral Millennium Award. She has written eighteen novels to date including two series set in WWII – her latest, The Shadow Network is due for release in early 2024.
Deborah lives in North Lancashire on the edge of the Lake District, and divide her time between teaching and writing.
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