Book Reviews

Book Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I’m bringing you two book reviews, of which this is the first, and I ended up reading both of these books in June.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Lost Apothecary Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favourite things about this book was the worldbuilding, for both the past and the present tense. I felt like I was walking the streets with the characters. This book is told through the interwoven stories of two, technically three but I won’t spoil anything there, women – one from the past and one in the present discovering what happened in the past while dealing with all the things happening in her life. The way the stories are interwoven is incredible, it was smooth and clear where we were and when and I loved being able to see both sides of the apothecary. This plot was very different to anything I’ve read before, it’s a combination between mystery and historical fiction. It’s actually the book that made me realise I really love historical mystery books (then I bought up a few of them…).

The Lost Apothecary Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Both of the women that you follow within this book have many layers that are constantly being explored and challenged throughout the novel. One of the things I liked the most about them was that they had flaws, and these flaws are part of the catalysts that set events in motion. The way the women led this story was a great thing to see, they are strong in different ways and it shows them taking control of their own lives. I won’t spoil anything about the ending but the characters never stray from their personalities and this is what leads eventually to the ending – which by the way ended perfectly for me.

The Lost Apothecary Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It did take me a few chapters to get comfortable with the writing style in this book however once I got past that I began to enjoy how it was written and how the writing style fit with both time periods and the characters within them.

The Lost Apothecary Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I gave this book five stars overall because I just couldn’t give it anything less. The world building, the mystery, the strong female leads – everything about this book was amazing and I couldn’t put it down.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. 

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Monday bookish people! The second book review of today is for the second book in the series. Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Hunting Prince Dracula Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I think you can tell from my star rating that I absolutely LOVED this book. Before reading it I was very intrigued by it being set at Dracula’s castle and how Kerri Maniscalco was going to weave in the mythology to this story – I won’t spoil anything but she did it so well! – and I have always been interested in vampire mythology. I thought that the way the story was told was such a unique take and kept the essence of the characters throughout it as well. I don’t have the words for how much i loved this book – at the beginning of the series if you’d asked me which I would have liked the most I would have said Stalking Jack the Ripper and I would have been wrong.

Hunting Prince Dracula Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As I said on my book review for Stalking Jack the Ripper Audrey Rose Wadsworth is the type of female protagonist I love to see in books. Strong willed, determined and always in the thick of trouble. She just gets even better in Hunting Prince Dracula, I didn’t think it was possible but she does. She’s out of her comfort zone, away from her family and making new friends who may or may not be people you should trust and it was enjoyable to see how she reacted to everything thrown at her in this book.

And Thomas Cresswell. What can I say, he is very dear to me. That’s probably weird because he’s fictional but never mind. In this book more secrets of his past are revealed and I was completely hooked on finding out what they were. There’s also another side to him that didn’t show very much in Stalking Jack the Ripper, his caring side. I love a character that has layers.

Hunting Prince Dracula Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Same as the first book in the series Kerri Maniscalco’s writing is excellent. I’d even go as far as saying it’s almost the perfect writing style for me. There’s not much more I can say here other than the dialogue really makes this book – it’s one of the many, many, many things I love about Thomas Cresswell!

Hunting Prince Dracula Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I couldn’t give this book anything but five stars. It was amazing, I basically blocked out everyone trying to talk to me until I’d finished it and yeah – read this book! It’s so good.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

That’s it for this book review I hope you all enjoyed it!