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The Lost Apothecary - Review


*I received this e-arc from Harlequin/Park Row & NetGalley. All views are my own*


The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner was one of my most anticipated reads in 2020, and I was ecstatic when I got approved for the ARC from NetGalley. Sadly, it didn't live up to the hype for me, and I had to DNF it.


The Lost Apothecary is a bold work of historical fiction. At the heart of the novel is a female apothecary serial killer who secretly supplies a network of women with poisons to kill men who have wronged them. Intertwined is the story of a present-day young woman who uncovers the centuries-old unsolved apothecary murders.


I've gotten as far as 39% before I put the book down. Neither duel timeline was reaching me. The pacing was slow on both ends. In the present day, a woman is shocked to find out about her cheating husband a couple of days shy of their 10th anniversary. In the past, we are introduced to an aging apothecary and a young, eager girl who wants to be her apprentice in murdering men. Everything sounds like it's going to be juicy! Murder, infidelity, a little bit of mystery ... But even reactions of death and cheating were dull.

Usually, when I'm seeking out historical fiction genres, I expect a version of what could have happened sprinkled in with some factual information. It gives me a chance to research for myself while being entertained with a point of view. From what I've read so far, I didn't feel like I've learned anything and had difficulty connecting with the characters. The story was just underwhelming to me.

I really don't have much input in the story, as I didn't finish it. Maybe later on in the year, I'll come back to it and try again. But for right now, I have to take a pass. Pretty cover, though!


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