The Apothecary's House by Adrian Mathews

PUBLISHED: 11:37 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:31 06 May 2010

WHAT can be said about a book that s so unremarkable you can t even remember if you ve read it? The Apothecary s House is too long. The story has got its merits as a mystery and the setting, in modern-day Amsterdam, is great. But the language is slangy t

WHAT can be said about a book that's so unremarkable you can't even remember if you've read it?

The Apothecary's House is too long. The story has got its merits as a mystery and the setting, in modern-day Amsterdam, is great. But the language is slangy to the point of irritating and writer Adrian Matthews never uses one word if three will do.

How can you take a threat seriously when it arrives addressed to Chickens...? Or a mystery man nicknamed, for no apparent reason, The Kid?

Why did a mediocre painting by a forgotten mediocre artist attract the interest of Hitler himself?

Why are two people fighting so fiercely to prove it's theirs?

Is there a Vermeer underneath or a secret message concealed within?

Don't bother unless you've a lot of time to spare.

Thanks to Ottakar's of Stevenage 2/5

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