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Publisher's Summary

Newsweek's 2021's Most Highly Anticipated New Books 

PopSugar's Most Anticipated Books of 2021

A New York Times top 10 best seller

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 18th-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 12-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 10th wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London 200 years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate - and not everyone will survive.

©2021 Sarah Penner (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!” (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress)

“Intriguing.... Readers who enjoy parallel historical/contemporary narratives about women’s lives, such as Claire McMillan’s The Necklace or Liz Trenow’s The Forgotten Seamstress, will enjoy the historical details and mystery in this engrossing tale.” (Library Journal)

“Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Lost Apothecary

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  • chloe florence
  • 08-06-21

Good story, niggling narrators.

loved the story, brilliant story.
I found Caroline's narrator a bit too forceful like I would describe it as aggressive storytelling, never come accross it before found it really bizarre and then the internal monologue on an English accent and then the speaking in American. that really threw me!
likewise the narrator for eliza hisses her 's' and once you've heard it you can't unhear it!!
Nella's narration though, spot on exactly how I would have imagined her to sound had I been reading this book rather than listening.
I would recxomend this book though really enjoyed it

2 people found this helpful

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  • R. O'Connor
  • 08-29-21

An interesting area of history with a female focus

The story held together generally quite well, although there were some holes (the police did not exist in the 1790s and neither Bow Street Runners - their rough equivalent- nor Parish Constables were uniformed). It also seemed a groundless and rather big leap when Caroline assumed early on that the vial she found during mudlarking, related to apothecary killings.
Later on during questioning at the hospital, it’s as clear the author wanted to draw parallels between the character and personality of the modern policeman and the historical one, but it came over as unrealistic as unlikely - uniformed police would be unlikely to undertake that kind of questioning if attempted murder were suspected.
Finally, Eliza’s narrator.. Perhaps she had been told to read more slowly, but the result was that she put emphasis repeatedly on the later consonants in words at the end of sentences. The consequent sibilance/emphasis (lassssst; leffffft; missssed; wissssse)and strange extending of words became noticeable; quite awkward and intrusive to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • terricj
  • 09-16-21

Hooked from the start!

This book had me hooked from the start!! I have the physical copy but I listened to the audiobook. Each character had there own narrator. It was fantastic. Such an amazing story of 3 people who now all hold a place in my heart.
I am not a fan of historical fiction but this is an amazing mix of then and now.
Highly recommend to everyone!!

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  • Heidi Exton
  • 09-11-21

Loved this book

Read this book as part of a book club. Was hooked from the beginning and all the way to the end

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  • Suzy
  • 09-06-21

Good story, struggled with one of the narrators

Good story. However I struggled with the voice of Caroline. She sounded very robotic and forced. Enjoyed the other narrators.

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  • Mrs. Anne Oppenheim
  • 09-02-21

A good read however….

I enjoyed reading this book however there were many many errors when describing life in London at that time. Considering a large premise of the book was all about research more should have been done on accuracies.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-21-21

Gripping

This is a truly capitulating books taking unexpected turns, but also having remarkable coincidences through the ages.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-21

Narrator

One of them sounded very robotic and forced like the underground announcement, difficult to be immersed in a story.

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  • Kirsty Marie
  • 08-12-21

Brilliant story. Slightly annoying narration.

Loved this book! Listened to it in two days! However one thing which annoyed me was Caroline’s narrator. Her voice was very forceful which grated on me. Another thing is Caroline is American, yet her monologues were in an English accent and when she spoke to other characters her accent was American, why??? (Although I am glad it was mostly in an English accent as her American accent was very annoying and grated one me; I don’t think I could have listened to it had it always been an American accent)….

However, these are small issues and I still thoroughly enjoyed the book.

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  • Alan
  • 08-02-21

Thoroughly enjoyable

A great story with enough wee twists to keep things moving along well. Narrated well

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  • Sue
  • 08-22-21

Hard to listen to.

I found ‘Carolyns’ voice very hard to listen to, the same monotone and at times forceful. Had to make myself listen as I was interested in the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-21

Clever plot, lacking soul

I enjoyed this story and wanted to finish to the end to find out what happened but I felt that something was missing.

It lacked depth and soul. The story line and characters were well thought out and the whole concept was brilliant.

It all came together perhaps a little too well, too perfectly!

An entertaining listen.

2 people found this helpful