Nick Petrie Series

Mary Lawrence Books In Order

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Publication Order of Bianca Goddard Mysteries Books

The Alchemist's Daughter (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death of an Alchemist (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death at St. Vedast (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Alchemist of Lost Souls (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lost Boys of London (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Mary Lawrence is a historical mystery writer best known for her debut novel, The Alchemist’s Daughter. The Biology and Chemistry graduate also doubles as a cytologist. For Lawrence, Writing provides an escape from the boredom that comes with her day job. The author finds the Tudor era intriguing, which explains why it features prominently in her writing. When she is not writing or putting her cytotechnology knowledge into good use, Lawrence does some farming in Maine.

The Alchemist’s Daughter

The Alchemist’s Daughter is the first book in Bianca Goddard Mysteries. The book stars Bianca Goddard, a young lady known for her medical prowess. It is 1543, right in the middle of King Henry VIII’s reign, and London is a slummy, messy, and just like an open sewer pit. Amidst the diseased populace lives 17-year-old Bianca, a medicinal and physickes proprietor. Bianca is bright, savvy, and cheery, and even though she lives paycheck to paycheck, she is quite knowledgeable in her craft. The portions and salves she creates help cure many people, which makes Bianca a respected member of her community. This changes when Bianca’s friend Jolyn dies right after taking one of her portions.

Jolyn comes to Bianca with severe stomach pains, but her prescription seems to have killed her on the spot. Even before she can recover from the shock, the local constable is already on Bianca’s case. Bianca suspects that Jolyn was poisoned, but she has no proof. However, it is clear that finding the truth is the only way to clear her name and escape the gallows. Bianca plans to use her knowledge in the arts of healing to identify the murderer. If she doesn’t solve this murder, then it is over for her as the constable thinks Bianca a convenient fit for this crime. Who would want to kill Jolyn just before her wedding?
This story shows a side of London that is rarely talked about. Here, people rake the Thames in search of something valuable, people waste from infections, and life is short and very cheap. Bianca and her friends are classified as misfits, and many in this era come with physical deformities. Unlike most historical fiction stories that are laced with self-importance, this one shuns it and does so beautifully.

Bianca is a charming and robust character who is authentic without being unrealistic. Through this story, the author brings to life the dark life in London in the 1500s. There are many rats; it seems like they were more numerous compared to the human population, and someone used these rodents for some sinister motives. In her quest to solve the murder mystery, Bianca will go deep into the underworld of London and unravel the mystery of the rat collector. She will end up in a place she would never go to, and after escaping, she has to rush back and prove her innocence while exposing the rot in the London shipyards.
The Alchemist’s Daughter is a well-thought-out mystery story that comes with many surprise twists and turns. Everything from the language to the customs is authentic to the era, which proves that the author did her homework. If you enjoy mystery, Tudor history, and stories with strong female characters, you will love this book.

Death of an Alchemist

Death of an Alchemist is the second book in the Bianca Goddard Mysteries. Alchemist Ferris Stannum has been working to develop an immortality serum. Ferris has already tested the serum on an animal, with excellent results. The next step is sending the journal to a friend in Cairo and see how well it works. Unfortunately, this last step doesn’t happen because Ferris dies the night before sending it. The corner notes that Ferris died of natural causes. The shocking thing is that when his body is discovered, it is found that his journal is missing. Bianca smells foul play, and she is determined to prove that Ferris was murdered.

Bianca is not new to mystical healing. She is an alchemist’s daughter, and when her husband gets the sweating disease, she goes in search of Ferris’s journal, hoping that it contains the formula to the cure. Well, before Bianca can access the journal, she needs to hunt down Ferris’s killers. This search turns into a life and death matter, and it is not just Bianca’s life in danger, but also her husband’s. Someone throws Ferris’s journal through her window, which can only mean that somebody is trying to frame her for the murder. Bianca is one of the few people who were aware of Ferris’s discovery, and the talented alchemist has even guided Bianca on how to cure the sweating disease.

This series is set in the 1600s when the FBI database and DNA testing were unheard of. Solving a crime then was completely different from what we know today. Through this story, the author will transport you back to the past when village life was simple, and people died of flu and other common illnesses. While the first book covers a good portion of Bianca’s life, not much is mentioned about her family. In this book, we get to meet her family and a host of other new characters. This is not to mean you need to read the first book to understand the content in this one. The book works perfectly even as a standalone.

Once again, this story provides you with characters that you are going to like. Most are smart, likable, and sympathetic, and they will stay in your head long after you are done reading the book. The pacing is spectacular, and the narration is perfect. Death of an Alchemist is a story about love and death. If you like some element of mystery in your historical fiction stories, you can be sure that you are going to love this book. The historical aspect of the story gives it quite an edge, and Bianca’s character is the perfect addition to this excellent story. Follow Bianca on her search for a ruthless murderer and a treatment for a disease that is threatening the life of someone that she loves.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mary Lawrence

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