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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times Best Seller

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

March 2021 Indie Next Pick and Number One LibraryReads Pick

"A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!" (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling 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 18th-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 12-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 200 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.

©2021 Sarah Penner (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Lost Apothecary

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    221
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    65
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    17
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    8
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    187
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully narrated and written.

What a lovely book. The narrators did an amazing job with the story telling, especially Nella's narrator, who made me cry a couple of times. will be recommending this Novel, to anyone looking for something new to read.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Read it for Nella

The modern day storyline is somewhat weak, though I see why the author wanted to make the link. However, the historical part is so good that I would definitely call this book a success.
The book definitely belongs to Nella, whose character is so beautifully written. Plus, the narrator was outstanding. I enjoyed every bit of it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not worth buying

Unfortunately, the present-day character of Caroline comes across as immature and inexperienced even though the author wants readers to believe that she’s a credible and talented amateur historian. Her discovery of the centuries old apothecary is completely unbelievable, as if a space such as this would remain undiscovered in an area of London that has been demolished and literally rebuilt. Her discovery of the back alley reads like something out of Harry Potter without the brilliant invention that only J. K. Rowling can pull off.In comparison, the story of Eliza and Nella is interesting and could have stood on its own; Caroline’s narrative is more of an annoying distraction than complement. Don’t waste your money on this book!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Story Concept

But the present day storyline was just not believable and at times hokey. I would have preferred just the historical Timeline story on its own.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I loved this story... everything about it!

This was a beautiful period piece... the characters were incredible and the story had my attention the entire time. Great performances also! 5/5

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Disappointed

I was very excited for this, I had heard many great things about it.

However, right from the beginning, I was frustrated with the repetition and with at times also felt long winded.

the plot was fantastic and what drew me in.

I was also quite upset with how the last few chapters went. I really wanted to hear from Eliza after the bridge and was not impressed that Caroline finished Elizas story

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Most Entertaining

Wonderful story, beautifully told and acted. The stories of the three women were interesting in their relatability and also from an archival perspective.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

Incredible storyline and audio performance. The way the separate stories of the main characters intertwine is seamless. It’s heartbreaking, and beautiful. I was immersed. It’s a must read.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I wanted it to be better

I had a hard time connecting with or feeling for the characters. There were a few spikes in the plot that were of some interest but I wasn't fond of the writing. It felt weak and lifeless to me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I've never been so torn over an audio book

I loved and hated this book. Loved the past both the writing and performance
Hated the present both the underdeveloped writing and the performance.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Heather
  • 2021-03-06

Fell short

I really struggled to finish this. My favorite books are dark adventures. This was not that kind of book despite its synopsis. I also wouldn't describe it as mysterious. The mystery part is really just slight curiosity at best. It was heavy in despair and slow paced for me. Also, two out of the three narrators were hard to enjoy. Disappointed overall.

57 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erin P. Robey
  • 2021-03-10

So...it’s not so much a mystery for you to solve...

While the story is not so much the type of mystery where you find yourself continually trying to solve it and being led to suspect one character after another of being the bad guy, it is more of a mysterious story that you are walked through. It’s quite enjoyable and the narration is great. It’s not so much suspenseful as just an interesting, well told tale.

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • mark mcwain
  • 2021-03-25

Just ok

This book was mildly entertaining. Despite the glowing reviews, the story was quite dull. There wasn't much of a plotline to really keep you engaged. It was pretty disappointing. I kept waiting for the hook, *spoiler* there isn't one. If you're looking for a cozy, predictable, easy listen- this is the book for you. It might be better in print form, but the audio version made me cringe for my wasted credit.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Diane in Tampa
  • 2021-03-21

2/3 good story

The historical sections are quite engaging. The contemporary section is both insipid and far-fetched.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jen
  • 2021-04-01

Not great

A good story, terribly written. No emotional depth/development to any of the characters. Sloppy ending.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laundrystar
  • 2021-03-04

Loved it!

I enjoyed this story and the characters! The end was good and it felt complete. Lots of mystery and adventure! I love how it connected an object with the present and past. I would have enjoyed seeing if there was more research at the end of descendants and adding more to the story!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rocart
  • 2021-03-31

I wanted to like this book.

What I hoped to be an historical fiction mystery soon devolved into the coming of age story for an ADULT and then into a fantasy; genre-bending but not in a good way.
If any of the men in your life are in the dog house, you might enjoy the read.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-06-26

such a dissapointment.

If you feel like being dragged along some womans midlife crisis for 20 hours this book is for you! the story had so much potential overall to be very interesting, cut out all of the winey soul searching that goes on for hours and it would be a lovely read.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • eyesla
  • 2021-03-28

Over dramatic reading to a far fetch story

If you like gothic novels, with predictable plot lines, then this book is for you. Interesting story idea which could have been helped by more flushing out of the characters. Overbearing reading of one reader trying to make the listeners always aware of the “doom” to come . (Spoiler alert) Also does not make sense on why someone would be so obsessed with women’s names not being forgotten, as if remembering them for one act could balance out the danger of this record.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chelsy Cunanan
  • 2021-03-16

Predictable Plot

Story was pretty predictable. Although, I did enjoy that the author switched between characters and time periods every chapter. The narrators did a good job at keeping it interesting, even as the story become more predictable. Glad I read it, but wouldn’t read it again.

7 people found this helpful