Laurie's Pick: "The Lost Apothecary" by Sarah Penner
When Caroline finds a mysterious vial on the banks of the River Thames, it leads her on an investigation into eighteenth century London. Following the markings on the vial, she soon discovers an alley with a hidden room containing a dusty register of names. This register belonged to an ingenious herbalist named Nella, who used her apothecary shop to help other women with their problems. This help sometimes included poisoning the men who had abused or betrayed them. Following a string of unsolved murders, Caroline slowly begins to piece together the hidden secrets of the past while discovering the strength to gain control of her own life.
“The Lost Apothecary” uses split time period to tell a story of vengeance and murder. However, it is also a story of the bond women share, especially during a time period when they were often powerless to escape mistreatment or suppression. This piece of historical fiction shines a light on women’s choices and how their place in society has changed over the years. If you enjoy tales of secrets, lies, suspense, and betrayal, I recommend “The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner.
Book reviewed by Laurie Reed, Neighborhood Reads Bookseller