Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, poisoning was considered a peculiarly Italian art, owing in part to the reputation of the Borgias, 5 as well as Toffana (a professional poisoner who labelled her deadly cosmetics with the images of saints) and the Council of Ten, one of the governing bodies of Venice. The Council of Ten maintained its position of power by killing off potential rivals, and even went to the lengths of actively advertising for poisoners, as well as maintaining its own reliable stock of poisons for nefarious purposes.
Aaaaaaaah, ... the original Assassins Guild....
Anyway, I have started the book. This is a re-read for me, so I will probably not post a lot of updates and resort to lurking and commenting on the posts of others.