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The Apothecary’s Daughter

By June Davies

The arrival of a mysterious stranger from South Carolina, the disappearance of a precious family keepsake, and an old tale about a hidden hoard of medieval silver and jewels …

It’s been a long, harsh winter in the prosperous market town of Barrowby, where Keziah Sephton is busier than ever. As well as caring for three generations of her family in their tall, narrow home behind the apothecary, Keziah is coping alone with the responsibilities of running the apothecary while her father is tending fever victims at the local almshouse. She has neither thought nor time for romance.

Meanwhile, hardworking George Cunliffe has loved Keziah since they were youngsters. He’s torn between admiring Keziah’s selfless devotion to her family and impatience for them to spend more time together. When gallant Benedict Clay arrives at the apothecary claiming to be blood-kin, George is immediately suspicious of the soft-spoken Southern gentleman’s motives – and intensely jealous of his attentiveness towards Keziah.

However, the American is warmly welcomed by the Sephtons, gradually drawn into the very heart of the family – and into Keziah’s heart, also. But after her grandmother’s precious Book of Hours disappears, Keziah is tormented by treacherous doubts. Confronted by the dreadful consequences of greed and bitter resentment, Keziah is swiftly enmeshed in a shocking spiral of deception, betrayal, ruthless ambition – and cold-blooded murder.

June Davies was born in an old house overlooking the Lancashire coastline, and the seashore finds its way into many of her stories. Sometimes, as in The Dog Star, the sea is a powerful force driving the inhabitants of 19th Century Monks Quay, while in other tales like The Family by the Shore, it has a gentler presence, yet still influences the characters and their lives. History has intrigued her since schooldays, and when as a mature student she read History at University of Liverpool, she says it was like being given a passport to travel through time! June Davies writes historical romantic suspense and family sagas, short stories and serials, and stories for children – She still lives within walking distance of the seashore.

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