THE GREAT DETECTIVE OF THE INNER PALACE IS BORN…?!
Maomao, a young woman trained in the art of herbal medicine, is forced to work as a lowly servant in the inner palace. Though she yearns for life outside its perfumed halls, she isn’t long for a life of drudgery! Using her wits to break a “curse” afflicting the imperial heirs, Maomao attracts the attentions of the beautiful Jinshi and is promoted to attendant food taster. But Jinshi has other plans for the erstwhile apothecary, and soon Maomao is back to brewing potions and…solving mysteries?!
-Description from Goodreads
I finished reading this in one sitting. I thought MaoMao’s was a great leading character, and that the story was well paced. The characters and setting were all introduced in a way that didn’t feel rushed, and instead naturally entered the story at the appropriate times.
I also thought that the concept and plot were interesting, and I’m looking forward to continuing this series.
Another thing that I enjoyed about the manga was the artwork, although I did not read the original light novel that it is based on, I thought the illustrations captured each of the characters well, and enjoyed the little details such as the differing hairstyles, accessory and clothing details and a wide variety of expressions. The backgrounds were also really nice, and I enjoyed taking the time going through each panel, looking at the little things here and there.
I liked that as the reader, I was thrown into the mystery fairly early on, and that this was the point of the story in which I got to learn more about MaoMao, Shishi, and the members of the court. I think this is what helped pace the manga and kept me engaged from the beginning.
I rated the Apothecary Diaries, Vol. 1 4 stars. I’m definitely going to continue reading this series and I think the next one is going to be really good!