The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

 Release Date - March 2, 2021


Days before they're to go on an anniversary trip to London, Caroline Parcewell learns her husband had an affair. She's hurt and opts to go on the trip on her own. When she comes across a tour guide who hosts a mudlarking adventure, something inspires her to join in. It's on the banks of the Thames that she finds an old glass jar.

Back in the 1700s, Nella works in secret as an apothecary creating potions and powders that are designed to help women kill off the men in their lives that have caused them some form of harm. There are two rules Nella always follows. The poisons can never be used on a woman and all names of buyers and victims must be recorded in a secret ledger.

Past and present merge when Caroline starts using her untouched history degree to research the jar's history. She stumbles into a series of apothecary murders in the 18th century and realizes she may have the key to solving them.

This book bounces between present day and the 1700s. It was fascinating to better understand Nella's methods and reasons for her actions. Caroline's research is just as appealing. While you know who the killer is from the start, the real mystery is why she does what she does and how she keeps getting away with it.

Every page kept me hooked and I ended up reading The Lost Apothecary in one sitting. The cover art is gorgeous, the narrative and storyline is engaging, and the look back at times long past was fascinating. It's not wonder that this book is gaining so much buzz from book groups. It's a must-read.

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