Book reviews Thriller

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary- Cover

About the Book- The Lost Apothecary

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.

Goodreads Page

The narration is a bit tricky and I had to make my peace with the narration and pace of the book but once I had done that I could see its spark.

Read on for our review of the book

Our Review of The Lost Apothecary

This book just proves that if you mess with the wrong woman, you will pay the price. Heavily 😜.  In all fairness, I had read the book couple of months back and there has been a huge gap between then and now. So chances are I am not remembering some of the things that I had felt while reading the book. So let me piece by piece, try to remember what I had felt when I was reading the book.

One of the facts that can break or make the book, depending upon your preference of story narration, is the pace of the book. It is a lot like a wave, touching dangerously high, in intervals and then going low for a while till it comes back with another twist. The book is a slow burner. It picks up slow and then keeps hitting you with major revelations and then hit back a slumber waiting for the next big twist. So that is why I am not sure whether it was totally good or totally bad. I guess I would say good because at the end of all I can’t deny the book was pretty interesting. 

The book travels with two stories. Two different women. Two different Time-periods. That in itself was pretty interesting and fortunately was executed well. Usually when you pick up two stories and try to run in parallel somewhere the distinction between the two starts blurring. Although in this book, it played well with the dual  Time-period story. The two women and the two time period had a clear distinction. You have to give accolades to the writing to make these characters sound different and different in their mannerism and approach

When you pick up The Lost Apothecary, there are two things that you need to keep in mind.

A) It may sound like some kind of mystery from the look and feel of it,  but it is not worked enough to make it an edge of a seat thriller. The mystery/suspense elements are like an added ingredient for flavour. The book is more like a journey and self-discovery of two women in two different timelines through some interesting plot developments

B) Narration is tricky. It can be a little tough to get into its spirits fully, especially in the beginning but once you get into the meat of the plot, you can’t let go, because you have this urge to see how all of this is going to tie up in the end. 


I feel that the second half of the book is what saves this book and makes it worthy. The first half feels like it is testing the waters, gradually settling into its surroundings. So be patient and you would be fine 

So in conclusion, The Lost Apothecary takes a bit of time to grow and settle but once it does, the book becomes engaging. The narration is a bit tricky and I had to make my peace with the narration and pace of the book but once I had done that I could see its spark.

Squirrel Rating

4 Squirrel rating

Gossip Column

According to Deadline, The book has been taken under Fox Network for a TV series Adaption. It is believed to be made into a one hour Drama project but nothing further is out yet as of now… But we will keep a watch on its update

Book Recommendation

You could also try Still mine by Amy Stuart

You may also like...

1 Comment

  1. […] our Take on the shadow series here or you could also try our BOOK RECOMMENDATION1.The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner2.Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri […]

Comments are closed.