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....Read More
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.
Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit slpenner.com.
"The Lost Apothecary is a poisonously good read... An enthralling work of mystery, murder, trust, and betrayal. Set in an atmospheric London, Penner's immersive story flows skillfully from past to present, revealing the heartaches and lost dreams of three captivating main characters in a page-turningly tense drama that surprises right up until the final paragraph." - NPR
"Engrossing, with rich detail, assured pacing and effective suspense." - Tampa Bay Times
"Spellbinding... Like in a well-brewed potion, all the ingredients have been given exactly the right level of care and time, and the result is a novel that simply overwhelms with its delicate spell." - Bookpage
"Enthralling... Musical prose... A completely absorbing story of the power of secrets and finding one's way." - Historical Novel Review, A Best Book of the Month Pick
"In The Lost Apothecary, Sarah Penner convincingly weaves three heroines and two timelines into one tale of poison, revenge, and the silent network of women helping other women in a world stacked against them.... A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!" - Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress
"Dark, clever, and wickedly fun, The Lost Apothecary is a true page-turner. Sarah Penner has given us a puzzle box of women's lives, betrayal, power, and history. It's a book that slyly asks what any of us deserve and if, sometimes, that might not be a little poison." - Erika Swyler, bestselling author of The Book of Speculation
"Sarah Penner kept me guessing until the last page of this addictive, atmospheric novel... Meticulously researched, The Lost Apothecary is both a cure for idleness and a recipe for intrigue. Prepare to be consumed by this carefully plotted, propulsive debut." - Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays
"Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut." - Booklist
"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