The Lost Apothecary (Paperback)

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The Lost Apothecary By Sarah Penner Cover Image

The Lost Apothecary (Paperback)


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March 2021 Indie Next List

“A wonderful melding of two timelines told by a trio of female voices. Each woman is standing at a crossroads; one is just becoming a woman, one is anticipating the end of her life, and one the end of her marriage. A small, blue apothecary bottle links the women and the timelines together. Penner skillfully guides us along the path each woman chooses. I could hardly bear to put the book down, such was the need to know the choice each woman makes and the consequences of that choice.”
— Sandi Madore, Magnolia's Bookstore, Seattle, WA

Staff Reviews

Spanning the years from 1791 to, well, now, this is a tale of a woman helping women… to kill. Once a healer, Nella has taken on the burden of assisting women who want to get away from their husbands. But she has a system that requires keeping a record and that record will become a threat. She has also made friends with a teen named Eliza. All of this will carry over the years and bring about a crisis for Caroline Parcewell, living now and in London. She wants to be a historian. She’s also just discovered that her husband is unfaithful. Things start to get really twisted up at this point and just about anything can happen. Oh, did I remember to tell you that the poison dispensed is never allowed to be used to harm a woman? This debut is both fun and thrilling. Have fun getting on the literary train that is named Sarah Penner. Next stop – murder!

— Linda Bond

A secret apothecary during Victorian England brings a female chemist and a modern day history professor together as they examine vials of dangerous concoctions that are administered to men who have wronged women.  Secrets both in the past and present are exposed in this historical fiction novel.

— From Gerard's Picks


Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Hello magazine,, Bustle, Popsugar, Betches, Sweet July, and GoodReads

March 2021 Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick

"A bold, edgy, accomplished debut " --Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary...

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-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 twelve-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 tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate--and not everyone will survive.

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.

Product Details ISBN: 9780778311973
ISBN-10: 077831197X
Publisher: Park Row
Publication Date: February 22nd, 2022
Pages: 352
Language: English