The Blackthorn Key

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

In London in 1665 apothecaries worked their magic with ingredients from the natural world creating everything from deadly poison and explosive gun powder to headache pills and rash creams. Christopher, a young orphan, has been apprenticed to Master Apothecary Benedict Blackthorn for three years and his days are filled with mixing wonderful medicines, learning about powerful potions and setting off the occasional explosion. However, his life is turned upside down when his master is brutally assassinated by a sinister cult, one that seems to be targeting all the apothecaries in London.

Distraught, homeless, and heartbroken Christopher is determined to discover the reason his master was killed. Enlisting the help of his best friend Tom, the baker's son, the duo set out to solve the mystery with the help of coded clues left behind by his master - but has Christopher learnt enough to solve his master's puzzles? And will he find the answer before the cult find him?

The opening chapter of this book will immediately put a smile on your face and ensure an affection for Christopher that you will carry with you to the end of the story. It is a thrilling adventure, fast paced and filled to the brim with codes, murder, and intrigue. The detailed, atmospheric descriptions of London in the 1660s are exceptional and obviously extremely well researched. It is such a fun read, packed with brilliant characters and oozing with mystery. It truly deserves to be a massive hit.

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