The Apothecary’s Demise is the follow-up novel to Ann Sloan’s Murder on the Boulevard set in pre-World War I Houston. The devastating hurricane that destroyed
Five years after the events in Murder on the Boulevard, Flora is now running the marble business that she inherited from her father and is working to fulfill the contract to supply marble for the new Rice Hotel, which is set to be a landmark building for its time. She is surprised when a woman approaches her during a Suffragist luncheon and asks her to look into the death of her son, Dr. Henri Mozelle, a local pharmacist. The police have ruled his death as suicide but his mother suspects foul play, in the person of her brand new daughter-in-law.
Flora doesn’t want anything to do with the pharmacist’s suspicious demise but when her housekeeper’s son’s girlfriend, who worked for Dr. Mozelle, disappears, Flora feels she has no choice but to investigate. Besides, she can’t resist a good mystery.
Dr. Mozelle’s mother is convinced that her son’s wife is responsible for his death but soon after the daughter-in-law dies under strange circumstances.
Then much to her chagrin, Flora discovers that she’s not as independent and forward-thinking as she thought she was. Webb Walker, the handsome and dashing partner of the deceased apothecary sweeps her off of her feet, no matter how hard she tries to resist his charms. She realizes she isn’t any less susceptible to a man than the silly women she’s trying to help liberate. Her steady beau, Max Andrews left for
But the solution to the murders comes from a source that Flora doesn’t expect. Nor does the reader. It’s not an out-of-the-blue answer to the puzzle, but very near to it.
Sloan has done an amazing amount of research on the history of
Otherwise, Sloan gives the reader a nice cozy mystery with a likeable main character and supporting cast in The Apothecary’s Demise. It’s not just for Houstonians.