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Today’s book certainly has one of the prettiest covers I’ve seen this year! Readers of historical fiction will love this one – set during the late 1700s in London with lots of intrigue and mystery.
Title: The Lost Apothecary
Author: Sarah Penner
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published: March 2, 2021
Source: Kathleen Carter Communications and Park Row Books
This was a fast-paced historical mystery with a past and present timeline that had me invested and guessing until the end.
Caroline is the present-day protagonist and she’s in London after finding out her husband cheated on her. She’s a lover of history and getting lost in the past. After she finds a very old glass vial in the waters of the Thames, she gets caught up in the story of a “fallen” apothecary who makes potions to kill philandering husbands. She begins her research and rediscovers her love for poring over old maps and ephemera.
Nella is the apothecary and we meet her as a middle-aged, bitter, and lonely woman that’s been providing these natural potions for almost 20 years. We get to know her story and the tragedy that began her dark journey. There is a third character, Eliza who plays a big part.
I liked this story and would give it a solid three stars. I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy history and learning about the secret lives of brave women from the past.
Have you ever been #mudlarking? Have you ever found something wonderfully old and special?
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A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.
Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
Connect with the Author
- ‘The Lost Apothecary’ Is A Poisonously Good Read – NPR
- “Potions that Bewitch Us, Cure Us, Kill Us” – Barnes & Noble
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Great review. I enjoyed this one as well. I thought the past was a stronger story, but both held my interest.
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