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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Lost Apothecary

By Sarah Penner

Rescue, mystery and honor leap time

We female readers…it’s not that all women (I hope it’s ALL!) want to see a guy actually murdered by poison…it’s just that the IDEA of revenge with the help of an apothecary sounds wickedly smart and satisfying.

The Lost Apothecary delivers this and more. Author Penner is ambitious—three point-of-view characters in a dual timeline—all kept tightly paced and interlaced together The leaps back and forth in time are used beautifully throughout by delivering clues in the past from apothecary Nella (and apprentice Eliza) that put the reader in-the-know in the present before the protagonist historian Caroline does. Suspenseful, edgy, beautifully staged—as much for this author’s debut skill as for the devilish story.

Besides this adept technical achievement, I truly loved Penner’s exploration into women controlling their own destinies in this book. Taking agency to rescue and honor each other, even across time—the women are bonded in a common mystery, and help each other.

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