The Lost Apothecary

The Lost Apothecary


With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

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 jeopardized 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.

Our Review

The first thing you will notice about The Lost Apothecary is the stunning cover, but this book is so much more than that.

It is 1791 and Nella is working as an apothecary in a back alley in London. Nella has been helping in the apothecary as a young child, the tinctures were her playthings. In those days the apothecary was only a place of healing now it is a place for desperate women to come who are looking for poison.

The book begins with Nella awaiting a new client whose name and rank she is unaware of. The only thing she knows is that her new client wants someone dead.

“I ran my fingers over the ink of words, imagining what despair brought the woman to seek out someone like me. Not an apothecary, but a murderer.”

Nella has a book in which she documents all of her clients and all the victims of her poisoning, except the first. Fredrick.

“I couldn’t have known that mere months after falling in love with him, I would dispense a fatal dose of rat poison to kill him.

The first betrayal. The first victim. The beginning of a stained legacy.”

In the present timeline Caroline is visiting London on what should have been her tenth anniversary trip with her husband James. Now she is in London alone with some very important decisions to make.

I have read some people commenting that they weren’t as keen on this timeline, but I loved both equally and couldn’t wait to see what happened in both.

Whilst in London Caroline gets invited to join a group of people who are mudlarking – a pursuit often written about by Victorian authors. Whilst there she makes a discovery that connects her with Nella and sets her on a new path.

“The bottle stood no more than five inches tall, more of a vial, given it’s small size – and was made of translucent, sky blue glass, hidden beneath a layer of caked on mud. “

One of the things I enjoyed the most about The Lost Apothecary was the way it outlines a different aspect of history for the reader, one that is virtually unexplored, and it does so in such a charming way.

I can’t end my review without talking about Eliza, my favourite character. Innocent and a bit naïve but as strong and capable as the other women in the book. Oh, and if you want to know who she is you will have to read the book.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 5/5

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