The Poison Keeper

Naples 1633 Aqua Tofana – One drop to heal. Three drops to kill. Giulia Tofana longs for more responsibility in her mother’s apothecary business, but Mamma has always been secretive and refuses to tell Giulia the hidden keys to her success. When Mamma is arrested for the poisoning of the powerful Duke de Verdi, Giulia is shocked to uncover the darker side of her trade.

Available in: ebook, paperback

Recent Releases


Sign up for Deborah’s monthly newsletter ‘The Astonishing Past’ – and you’ll get this free story, Last Train Home. It’s a wartime railway romance ideal for your coffee-time reading.

When you sign up you’ll also get exclusive articles on our astonishing history, as well as book chat, news of subscriber only giveaways and the chance to win one of Deborah’s books every month in a monthly draw.



Welcome to the online home of Deborah Swift, historical novelist. Before publishing her first novel Deborah worked as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV. She also developed a degree course in Theatre Arts at the Arden School of Theatre, where she taught scenography and the history of design. In 2007 she took an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, and since then has juggled writing with teaching.

Deborah has been published by St Martin’s Press, Pan Macmillan, Endeavour Press, Headline Accent and Sapere Books.

Recent Blog Posts

The Marquise of Darkness by Phil Syphe #France #poison #blog

The Marquise of Darkness by Phil Syphe #France #poison #blog

Having just finished a book abut an Italian poisoner, I'm fascinated to have Phil Syphe here today to talk about another woman involved in poisoning. Over to Phil to tell us more. Set in seventeenth-century France, The Marquise of Darkness is based on the real-life...

read more


Read some of your favourite novelists covering Medieval Europe

Articles, interviews, book reviews.
Featuring @Paul_Bernardi @theodorebrun @coloursofunison @swiftstory

#medievaltwitter #authorinterview #histfic

Tomorrow! #HistFic authors @carolmcgrath, @Chadwickauthor and @swiftstory in conversation.
Then join in and chat with them!
📚When: 1800 BST, Wed 28 July
📚Where: Historia's Facebook page
#writerslife #amwriting

I just finished the final edits on my forthcoming book about Harold Gillies, the visionary plastic surgeon who rebuilt soldiers' faces during WWI.

4 years, 80,000 words, and 745 endnotes. I knew very little going into this book & I cant wait to share what I've learned with you.

#OnThisDay in #RadiumGirls #History
27 July 1938 - Catherine Donohue died of radium poisoning after a long court battle with her former employer, Radium Dial.

Load More...