There are so many books (and movies/shows) about the Borgias for a reason - they are fascinating. All the scandalous rumors, political grappling and seize of power makes for a great story. I mean we’re talking about a Pope who tried to use his bastard children and church funds to create a family dynasty.
Margaret George, another Wisconsinite, writes this novel about Nero almost as an autobiography. Nero of course is the Roman emperor best known (wrongly) for playing his fiddle while Rome burned.
This murder mystery by Tania Bayard has a cool medieval twist. Christine de Pizan is a rare female scribe in medieval Paris who is bent on proving a lady-in-waiting, Alex de Clairy, didn’t kill her husband. I liked that along the way Bayard focuses on describing typical medieval life for non-nobles.
This novel by Danielle Teller surprised me in the best way. It’s “The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother” where the stepmother, Agnes, tells her side of the story. It reads like a historical fiction novel set somewhere in medieval or early modern Europe. No magic to see here, just vicious rumors that created a fantasy.
I loved this booked! It’s a time travel novel where Beatrice, a neurologist, goes to modern day Siena. She ends up finding a journal of a painter who lived during the plague and reading it causes her to time travel into the past where she meets the painter and becomes a scribe at a convent.