The Alchemist Of Lost Souls (2019) by Mary Lawrence

London in the Spring of 1544.

Bianca Goddard, the daughter of an unstable alchemist, makes her living as an apothecary, but when her father comes to her for help, she finds she cannot refuse. He has discovered a powerful new element, one that can create light and heat, but it has been stolen.

When a woman’s body is found, green smoke pouring from her mouth, Bianca believes that her own mother may be involved. But as her husband is recruited to fight for the King in Scotland, the pregnant Bianca finds herself in pursuit of a deadly murderer.

Sorry, going to need to be quick with this one – with Brian Flynn taking up much of my spare time at the mo, plus school being very hectic as exam season approaches, I’ve not that much time for general blogging. I read the book that preceded this one, Death At St Vedast, a while ago, and thought I’d take a look at the follow up.

There are a few plot threads going on here – while the alchemy is basically trial-and-error chemistry, there is a mystical element in the form of the Rat Man – and there are times when I could have done with a glossary for some of the terms. There is one, by the way, but it’s at the end of the book. A note for ebook makers – put the glossary at the front. Just saying.

Fans of historical novels should enjoy this one. I would have preferred the mystery element to take more of a prominent role but it is an engrossing read and fans of the series will enjoy this one.


  1. What rinaldo302 said, although I see you’ve now done the correction. 🙂

    A pity, really. My first reaction on seeing the date 1954, as per your email alert, was that I quite fancied a recent mystery set in the mid-1950s. But then . . .


  2. 1594 doesn’t help either: England was ruled by Queen Elizabeth. Or has her husband been recruited to fight for King James VI of Scotland?


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