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Summary

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

What members say

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

Good historical who done it

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

The Apothecary Rose

This was the first book I listened to and was hooked. Stephen Thorne is a good narrator and brought Owen Archer to life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The first of a great series

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • h
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 02-02-13

A little bit too tame.

This is an interesting enough story, well written. It's just a bit light. If it were wine I'd describe it as inoffensive.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

History Fan

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Different from the norm.

What did you like most about The Apothecary Rose?

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.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The death of the mand behind the murderer.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The death of Potter

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Historical novel

I enjoyed the story which was easy to understand and follow. However the reader’s pace was just slightly too quick. When I slowed it to .75 it was too bass.
I couldn’t understand why the criminals were not brought to trial by jury instead of the Archbishop dispensing summary justice privately and acting as God. A bit unrealistic. He was not answerable to anyone. The church seemed to be too powerful and they just overlooked or took for granted many crimes as long as a penance was said. Little protection to the victims was provided such as the Archdeacon being arrested and detained in custody as soon as the Archbishop had evidence against him. The character of Mistress Lucy was too stubborn and modern. Women were more submissive then. She had some obtuse ideas just for the sake of the plot. She suddenly had a complete change of character at the end when she let Owen Archer kiss and make up which seemed a contrived happy ending. Feminism developed 600 years later. So this is a novel written to suit present day feminism rather than the reality of the day.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An entertaining story.

Well written and well researched historical fiction that I enjoyed very much. Well narrated too.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The story is fine ...

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful