Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Lost Apothecary

 The Lost Apothecary 

Author: Sarah Penner

Publisher:Park Row Books/HarperCollins

Year: 2021

A woman trying to distance herself from her unfaithful husband discovers long buried secrets and crimes in London. 

Caroline’s devastated by her husband’s infidelity and flies to London without him on what would have been a trip celebrating their anniversary. She impulsively joins a mudlarking expedition on the Thames where she finds an old apothecary bottle. The bottle peaks her curiosity, re-awakens her love of history, and sets her on a journey to discover more. Caroline begins to do some research and discovers an 18th century apothecary serial killer who supplied poisons to women who wanted to be rid of the troubling men in their lives. 

The story is told from three different POVs- Caroline in the present day, Nella the apothecary who dispenses the poisons, and Eliza, a 12 year old maid who procures poison on behalf of her employer and becomes intrigued with Nella and her potions. 

Honestly, the 18th century timelines worked better for me than Caroline’s modern day timeline. I thought Caroline’s  story relied too much on coincidences and the whole subplot with her husband dragged a bit for me. I wish the author had focused more on Nella and Eliza’s timelines and stories. They were the more compelling characters and I wanted more about them. I enjoyed the book, but I thought it didn’t live up to it’s potential. This is perfect for fans who like multiple points of view or who like historical fiction with a little mystery involved. 


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