The Alchemist of Lost Souls

The Alchemist of Lost Souls

by Mary Lawrence


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A dangerous element discovered by Bianca Goddard’s father falls into the wrong hands . . . leading to a chain of multiple murders.
Spring 1544: Now that she is with child, Bianca is more determined than ever to distance herself from her unstable father. Desperate to win back the favor of King Henry VIII, disgraced alchemist Albern Goddard plans to reveal a powerful new element he's discovered—one with deadly potential. But when the substance is stolen, he is panicked and expects his daughter to help.
Soon after, a woman's body is found behind the Dim Dragon Inn, an eerie green vapor rising from her breathless mouth. To her grave concern, Bianca has reason to suspect her own mother may be involved in the theft and the murder. As her husband John is conscripted into King Henry's army to subdue Scottish resistance, Bianca must navigate a twisted and treacherous path among alchemists, apothecaries, chandlers, and scoundrels—to find out who among them is willing to kill to possess the element known as lapis mortem, the stone of death . . .
Praise for Death at St. Vedast
“Full of period details, Lawrence’s latest series outing captures Tudor London in all its colorful splendor. A solid choice for devotees of Karen Harper’s Elizabethan mysteries.”
Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496715319
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Series: A Bianca Goddard Mystery Series , #4
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 536,521
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

 Mary Lawrence lives in Maine and worked in the medical field for more than twenty-five years before publishing her debut mystery, The Alchemist's Daughter (Kensington, 2015). The book was named by Suspense Magazine a "Best Book of 2015" in the historical mystery category. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including the national news blog The Daily Beast. She has also written Death of an Alchemist and Death at St. Vedast in the Bianca Goddard mystery series. Visit the author at

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The Alchemist of Lost Souls 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
VWilliams 16 days ago
This is the fourth in the series, but I absolutely devoured this book as if it were the first and enjoyed as a standalone. Set in Elizabethan London, Bianca Goddard is pregnant and her husband, John, has flunked his archery test and is being conscripted to the king's army. Her mother Melva is a white witch, her father the alchemist, albeit a disgraced alchemist having fallen out of favor. He made a remarkable discovery hoping it will put him back in the king's good graces. Unfortunately, his sample elements have disappeared and he politely (not) requests that his daughter ascertain whether or not his wife was responsible. She is an herbalist with a growing list of clients, one of whom, Meddybemps, is a street peddler of her wares and an old friend. Meddybemps, however, is just one of a number of support characters that catapults you back to the sixteenth century. The sights, sounds, and smells emanate from the pages. You are there. It's wet...and chilly. Rainy streets slick with all manner of human detritus combine with the cooking odors and scents wafting from Southwark inns with tobacco and ale--drank morning, noon, and night (in place of fetid water). Her father's element quickly ends up in the hands of an unscrupulous couple and the wife is murdered trying to sell them. The death of the wife puts Bianca in touch with Constable Patch, with whom she has had dealings in prior series entries. The elements change hands more than once, resulting in additional unusual and unique deaths. The conclusion came following the climax of a harrowing scene pitting Bianca and her very capable inn wench friend, Cammy, against the antagonist. Is Bianca able to retrieve the elements? Or if so, at what cost? And if I had any niggles at all, it would be the conclusion. I was given this eBook download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. The author was careful to deliver authentic dialect, slang, and syntax, words I was looking up, Latin or French phrases, descriptions of costume and dress. This would make such a fantastic TV series. If I can't watch it, I'll wait (im)patiently for the next book. Heartily recommended!
Bukgoddess 19 days ago
5 stars The 4th installment in the Bianca Goddard Mystery series! With a father as an Alchemist (although highly out of favor with the King at present) and a mother a white witch (as they say), of course the apple isn't going to fall far from the tree...but in Bianca's case, she's got more scruples than both her parents. Her homemade medicinals and physicks are her life's work as she strives to invent concoctions for the good. Helping people is all she wants to do, her salves and potions are sold on her behalf by Meddybemps a wild eyed street vendor (as close a father figure that she can imagine considering her own father's circumstances). Living in a hovel in one of the worst area of London; Southwark, is where she plies her trade. Her husband John is currently trying to raise their level of living, being himself apprenticed to a French silversmith, but more herbs than food line their pantry. The sudden arrival of her aforementioned father to her door with a demand to use her (interestingly enough) skills of deduction to find the thief that stole his latest element set Bianca's (and John's) teeth on edge. Although Goddard is sure Bianca's mother is prime suspect, Bianca sets to the task at hand (unwilling at best, but with no choice at worst!). During her investigation, Bianca becomes embroiled in the discovery of a grisly murder outside their neighborhood pub and to her horror the said element is also present. Enter the dreaded Constable Patch who now also demands her sleuthing services, however when the suspects cut close to home, finding the true murderer is her priority! I wasn't putting it down til it was complete!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Another great addition to what has become my favorite historical mystery series. These stories are never dull. They have imaginative plots and characters, and the author writes in a lively style, with humor and period language. Great escapism, this read was fast and completely consuming. Highly recommended!
chicpanda 4 months ago
All is not well in Book 4 of the Bianca Goddard Mystery Series. It is 1544, Henry is now dyspeptic, and bloated. He believes his borders with Scotland and France are threatened. Therefore he orders the men of Southwark to assemble for the evaluation of their archery skills. John's faulty war bow fails him, and he is assigned to the front line troops; the pikemen. John reluctantly leaves a pregnant Bianca and is off to war in Scotland. Bianca's father, Albern Goddard, a disgraced Alchemist has discovered a miraculous source of light. This burning brilliant light, brighter than any candle, lasts a long time before fading to a green glow. Exposure to air causes the 'stone" the source of the light to burst into flames. Before he can make any profit from this discovery, the stones are stolen, and the thief is murdered. Bianca is tasked with uncovering the killer. Bianca is a wonderful lead character. She is a woman of her times, of course, but she also is one who is moving from subservience to independence. Her gender prohibits her from being an Alchemist. She chooses instead, to become an herbal healer creating cures for the common diseases such as fever and ague. She is observant, intelligent, and willing to take risks. She has found an ideal partner in John. One hopes all will be well for him. That may not be the case, as Lawrence stays very true to the historical period. The settings are filled with the swirl and crush of humanity. Lawrence's astute use of vocabulary, choosing obscure words that almost sounds Elizabethan in tone, adds a powerful feeling of reality to the novel. The mystery is not straight forward, instead a complex series of characters present plausible candidates for the murderer. One hopes Bianca's story will continue. Recommended Full disclosure: I received a copy from and Kensington in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you for the opportunity.
wjane 5 months ago
The Alchemist of Lost Souls by Mary Lawrence is a blend of historical mystery, secrets, murders and a little fantasy. It is a wonderful day when you are chosen to read not only a favorite author but a favorite series. Yes, I am prejudiced eagerly watching and waiting for her newest book. This book and series transports the reader to the 1500’s with its sights, sounds and smells. You may not even know what an alchemist was or practiced, but you will soon be enthralled with each new mystery that involves new and old characters. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book.