The Lost Apothecary is a dual timeline historical fiction / mystery story which brings you between modern times and 1790s London. When Caroline arrives in London on her first trip from the US she stumbles upon a group who are mudlarking, which is looking at tidal earth when the Thames has receded for historical artifacts. She joins and finds an unusual vial with an engraving on it. Her curiosity is heightened and she decides to investigate. What she stumbles upon is a story about an apothecary who had quite the unusual practice and group of customers.
The story expertly slips into the historical timeline and we meet the apothecary and see how her practice came to be. We see how she inherited her mother’s practice and is betrayed by a man which causes her to begin supporting other women who have had similar betrayals. This leads to a slippery slope where she begins offering poisons that lead to murders. We see her ethical struggle with this evolution of the practice. As Caroline reveals the historical details in modern time, we get a glimpse of the truth behind the historical artifacts. We also see how Caroline’s investigations get her in a little hot water.
This is historical fiction expertly done! Read this one if you enjoyed The Sin Eater or In the Shadow of the Sun. It publishes on Tuesday!
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.
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