The lost apothecary : a novel

by Penner, Sarah,

Format: Kindle Book 2021 2021
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Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientè€le. 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.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In the late eighteenth century, Nella owns an apothecary specializing in remedies for women, with a brisk side business in poisons. Her latest customer is Eliza, a servant girl charged with procuring poison for her mistress. Nella's dreams of motherhood were destroyed by a callous young man, and Eliza is curious about the intricacies of Nella's business. The two form a tenuous bond that quickly strengthens when Nella's livelihood is threatened. In the present day, Caroline's romantic anniversary trip to London becomes a solo sojourn because of her husband's infidelity. Determined to make the best of the situation, Caroline joins a mudlarking expedition and finds a mysterious bottle in the river. Her investigation into the bottle's provenance unravels the long-hidden mystery of Nella's apothecary, while also reminding Caroline of her pre-marriage dreams. Penner finds clever parallels between Nella and Caroline, and avoids the pitfall of one storyline outshining the other--all three women have compelling tales, and while Nella's business may not be on the up-and-up, her motives are understandable. Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In Penner's faltering debut, a contemporary American woman uncovers a clue to a series of unsolved murders in 18th-century London. After Caroline Parcewell learns her husband, James, is having an affair, she flies alone from Ohio to London on what was meant to be their anniversary trip. There, she finds a glass vial in the Thames. Her research on the bear etched on the bottle turns up newspaper articles about the suicide of a woman known as the London "Apothecary Killer" in 1791, and leads her to the site of the woman's shop. Penner switches from Caroline's sleuthing to the story of the apothecary, Nella Clavinger, who gave poison to women to use on men who wronged them in various ways. Back in the present, Caroline contends with James showing up and getting accidentally poisoned after trying to win her back. Penner's story starts strong but peters out as the engaging premise gets muddled in convenient plot turns, though the author does a good job of making two disparate stories into eventual foils for one another. This has a few things going for it, but in the end it fails to cast a spell. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Pharmacists Fiction
Murder Fiction
Murder Investigation Fiction
Secrecy Fiction
Historical Fiction
London (England) Fiction.
London (England) 18th century Fiction.
Electronic books.
Historical fiction.
Mystery fiction.
18th century
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :Park Row Books,2021
Park Row Books2021
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Audience General adult
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9781488077494
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