The Lost Apothecary Book Review

The Lost Apothecary  
Author: Sarah Penner    
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 320
Release date: 02 March 2021
Publisher: Park Row


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.

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This book has been recently so hyped up that my expectations automatically went very high. But I somehow feel underwhelmed by this book. I enjoyed the premise of the story but I feel like something was lacking in the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this book and 3.5 star is a good rating, but I expected more from this book. I liked the past timeline more than the present one, in fact I thought that Caroline’s POV was an unnecessary addition. This book had been so much better with only Nella’s and Eliza’s POV. I would’ve liked to see more of their story but every time Caroline’s POV came, I felt interrupted in the story.

I liked the characters of Nella and Eliza. I empathized a lot with Nella and felt very bad for her. Eliza also adds a meaning to the story, but Caroline seemed she does nothing to the main story. Her storyline felt like a diversion. But one thing, the way she leaves her husband and does things for herself is quite inspiring. The premise of the book of poisoning evil men was amazing but I felt the execution was somewhat lukewarm.

Nevertheless I did enjoy my time reading this book and would definitely recommend it!

My rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars.

HAPPY READING! 😊

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