It is the year of our Lord 1363. And in the cathedral city of York, people are dying in mysterious circumstances. But there seems to be a common thread - the herbal remedies dispensed by Nicholas Wilton, Master Apothecary. The first victim is an anonymous pilgrim. But when a highborn nobleman dies after taking the same potion the authorities decide to act.
Dispatched to York, in disguise, to unravel the mystery, Owen Archer, former Captain of Archers, apprentices himself to the Apothecary. But it is from Wilton's beautiful wife Lucie that he must learn the arcane secrets of the trade. Slowly but surely, Owen begins to uncover the truth. And when the deaths continue, he realises to his horror he must count Lucie among the suspects.
©1994 Candace Robb (P)2009 Random House Audio
If you are a fan of the medieval-ish period and who done its then I highly recommend this audio book. Good plot and well read.
I've been a fan of murder-mysteries for many years and when I first joined Audible, I naturally looked for something in that genre. I hadn't discovered Candace Robb's work before so it was a very pleasant surprise to find out that The Apothecary Rose was well written, well researched and well read by Stephen Thorne.
It's set in and around 14th century York and follows Owen Archer (a former soldier) as he investigates several unnatural deaths. As is to be expected in this genre, there is some violence and this is combined with some sex and passion. Candace Robb leaves readers in no doubt about the appalling squalor of the times and this all helped me to feel that I was steeping back in time to be alongside the book's characters. Throughout the book, I found enough drama and excitement to make me want to know what came next; if it had been a traditional paper book it would have been one of those that was difficult to put down but as an audio-bok I found myself listening until the early hours of the morning.
Stephen Thorne's voice seems to be well suited to the subject and he manages to put enough stress and inflection into his reading to make the main characters clearly distinguishable without turning it into some sort of one-man play.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Apothecary Rose and I've already recommended it to several friends. There are many more titles in what has become a very successful series following Owen Archer's life as an investigator and all those I've tried have been excellent.
This is an interesting enough story, well written. It's just a bit light. If it were wine I'd describe it as inoffensive.
Read all the "Owen Archer series" and wished there were more, so was pleased to see them in audio, can travel back in time while ironing. Good info on the period and a gripping story line, "2 buts" the storys are better read in order as they follow on in time & tale, but some are missing, Stephen Thorne does a very good welsh Owen then the narrator changes and is not as good, hope the rest appear and are read by Stephen Thorne.
The characters and setting were realistic. Also the descriptions of the places and people weren't overdone and still kept it atmospheric enough without going overboard.
The death of the mand behind the murderer.
The death of Potter
This is a series I could really get into. Unfortunately, I am unable to find Unabridged recordings of book 2 'The Lady Chapel' and book 4 'The King's Bishop' on audible UK. I hope that they will become available soon.
I enjoyed the story and the historical detail of the period it was set in, but it gets only four stars because I couldn't decide if it was a bad recording or whether the narrator actually had a lisp. Whichever it was I found it very distracting! I'll listen harder to the extracts of these novels next time to see if the lisp is apparent before I buy.
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