January 24, 2022

#BookReview: The Lost Apothecary by @SL_Penner






Synopsis: 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.



Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 5 Stars
My Review:  I had just saw a TikTok about the woman poisoner before I started this one. So I had already known some of the history behind this story.  Which made this even more enjoyable.  I do wish that the author would have had a short history of the actual woman in the beginning of the book.  I think it would have prepared readers a little more.  Overall, this book was stellar and I couldn't put it down. 




Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of March 2021: The Lost Apothecary is a dark and gripping tale with a tart edge about women struggling to survive in a world built by men, for men. Vengeance is the only way out from under their thumb, but when the reckoning comes no one will save women with as much heart and heroism as other women. Perfect for fans of The Night Circus or The Weight of Ink—Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review

Review

"The Lost Apothecary is a poisonously good read... An enthralling work of mystery, murder, trust, and betrayal. Set in an atmospheric London, Penner's immersive story flows skillfully from past to present, revealing the heartaches and lost dreams of three captivating main characters in a page-turningly tense drama that surprises right up until the final paragraph." —NPR

“You will not be able to put it down.” —theSkimm

"A juicy spring read.” —Katie Couric, Wake-Up Call

“An impressively original, deftly crafted and fully entertaining novel from cover to cover, The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner fairly crackles with compelling suspense, features truly memorable characters, and a series of cliffhanger style plot twists and turns.” —Midwest Book Review

“Engrossing, with rich detail, assured pacing and effective suspense.” —Tampa Bay Times

“Spellbinding… Like in a well-brewed potion, all the ingredients have been given exactly the right level of care and time, and the result is a novel that simply overwhelms with its delicate spell.”Bookpage

“Enthralling… Musical prose… A completely absorbing story of the power of secrets and finding one’s way.” Historical Novel Review, A Best Book of the Month Pick

"In The Lost Apothecary, Sarah Penner convincingly weaves three heroines and two timelines into one tale of poison, revenge, and the silent network of women helping other women in a world stacked against them…. A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!" —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress

"Dark, clever, and wickedly fun, The Lost Apothecary is a true page-turner. Sarah Penner has given us a puzzle box of women's lives, betrayal, power, and history. It's a book that slyly asks what any of us deserve and if, sometimes, that might not be a little poison." —Erika Swyler, bestselling author of The Book of Speculation

“Filled with fascinating historical detail... With gathering intensity, author Sarah Penner builds toward a heart-pounding, satisfying conclusion. A skilled, captivating debut that celebrates the strength of women across the centuries.” —Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names

"Penner's debut had me completely under its spell. The women of The Lost Apothecary, separated by centuries, seek both revenge and truth in this powerful story. Riveting and utterly original." —Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Dollhouse

"Sarah Penner kept me guessing until the last page of this addictive, atmospheric novel… Meticulously researched, The Lost Apothecary is both a cure for idleness and a recipe for intrigue. Prepare to be consumed by this carefully plotted, propulsive debut." —Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays

"An intoxicating debut, The Lost Apothecary is a riveting tale of poisons and potions and dark deeds in the name of survival.” —Heather Webb, bestselling co-author of Meet Me in Monaco

“Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut.” Booklist

“Intriguing… Readers who enjoy parallel historical/contemporary narratives about women’s lives, such as Claire McMillan’s The Necklace or Liz Trenow’s The Forgotten Seamstress, will enjoy the historical details and mystery in this engrossing tale.” Library Journal









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