The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Photo Credit: Park Row


This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

The Lost Apothecary

Summary: 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.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

I remember getting the ARC of this book in the mail. I wasn’t expecting it-it was just a surprise package. I immediately was drawn to the colors of this book- purples and pinks and the bottle. The ARC is gorgeous in it’s own way- but the finished copy is STUNNING (color me happy that I was sent a finished copy as well!)


I kept meaning to read this book- it sounded like a good historical fiction with an intriguing mystery. Alas, I didn’t get to read it as soon as I expected- but reading it this week- i was WOWZA.

Sarah Penner created a world that I didn’t like taking breaks from. I was worried about these characters. Wanted to know their backstory. And that ending! ❤


What I Liked:

This cover is GREAT. So stunning.

The dual timeline for the stories. I think I was more involved in Eliza & Nella’s story- I was also curious about Caroline’s.

The ending was really good!


Bottom line: This is a debut, but Sarah Penner writes with the skills of a seasoned pro. I look forward to seeing what her next  book will be about.


*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.*


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Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

4 thoughts on “The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

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