A vivid tale of love in a time of fire, plague and prejudice (Katherine Webb)
Romantic, engaging and hugely satisfying. This is one of those novels that makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time (Katie Fforde)
A colourful story with a richly-drawn backdrop of London in the grip of plague. A wonderful debut novel (Carole Matthews)
A feast for the senses. With the sensual language of Patrick Suskind’s Perfume and the historical flavour of Philippa Gregory, this is a lush, immersive read for historical fiction fans, set during one of the most exciting eras of the city’s history (Holiday Magazine)
1665. Susannah Leyton has grown up behind the counter of her father’s apothecary shop in bustling Fleet Street. A skilled student – the resinous scents of lavender, rosemary, liquorice and turpentine run in her blood – her father has granted her the freedom to pursue her considerable talents. But Susannah is dealt a shocking blow when her widowed father marries again, and her new step-mother seems determined to remove her from the apothecary shop for good.
A proposal of marriage from the charming Henry Savage seems to offer Susannah an escape. But as the plague sweeps through London, tragedy strikes, and dark secrets in her husband’s past begin to unfold. It will take all of Susannah’s courage and passion to save herself from tragedy . . .
Inside the apothecary shop Susannah stood by the light of the window, daydreaming and grinding flowers of sulphur into a malodorous dust as she watched the world go by. Fleet Street, as always, was as busy as an anthill. The morning’s snow was already dusted with soot from the noxious cloud blown in from the kilns at Limehouse and the frost made icebergs of the surging effluent in the central drain. Church bells clanged and dogs barked while a ceaseless stream of people flowed past.
Susannah’s eye was drawn by the tall figure of a man in a sombre hat and cloak picking his way over the snow. Something about the way he moved amongst the hubbub of the crowd, like a wolf slipping silently through the forest, captured her curiosity …