The Lost Apothecary – Sarah Penner

Published by: Legend Press
Pages: 264
Date released: 02/03/2021
Date read: 17/03/2021

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardised when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile, in present day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate – and not everyone will survive.

I had absolutely no preconceptions about this book prior to reading it. I had seen some good reviews in magazines and the cover caught my eye so I decided to give it a go.

It follows a secret apothecary in the 18th century, alongside a historian in the 21st century as their pasts, presents and futures start to intertwine.

It’s full of sizzling suspense, unforgettable characters and bad deeds. It is intoxicating and thrilling throughout.

It is written as if by the pen of a seasoned novelist rather than by someone for whom this is their debut. Sarah Penner seamlessly weaves the two storylines together perfectly and you can actually see in your mind these two women running through their muddy lives together.

Honestly, I found myself more interested in the goings-on of the 18th century Nella and Eliza than the 21st century Caroline, but it is through her journey that we get to know more about the past.

A simply magical – in every sense – debut.

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