The Last Witch in Edinburgh

Marielle Thompson

Kensington , 2024

Agent: Jill Marr

For fans of Sarah Penner’s The Lost Apothecary and Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches, this lush, atmospheric novel from the author of Where Ivy Dares to Grow blends witchcraft, queer love, a vibrant Edinburgh setting, and Scottish folklore for a propulsive and emotional story exploring what it means to resist the patriarchy and find your voice.

“A lyrical and hauntingly beautiful new voice.” —Hester Fox, Author of A Lullaby for Witches

In an alternate Edinburgh of 1824, every woman lives in fear that she will be the next one hanged for witchcraft. All it takes is invoking the anger, or the desire, of the wrong person. Nellie Duncan, beautiful and unwed, keeps to herself until she encounters the Rae Women’s Apothecary. There, fiery Jean Rae and the other women provide cures and teach others that they too can aid the winter deity, the Cailleach, embracing her characteristic independence, agency, and craft, in turn becoming witches themselves.

Nellie finds a place and a purpose at the shop, and a blossoming romance with Jean, as she learns about nature-based craft and a witch’s ability to return to life after death. But the Cailleach has an ancient enemy intent on stripping the power of the deity and all her witches, leaving a wake of patriarchal violence and destruction. When heart-breaking disaster strikes, Nellie flees and spends the next two centuries hiding from the world—until love gives her the courage and the motivation to come back.

Nellie’s past is waiting for her there, and hanging witches is no longer the only means of oppression. But this time, Nellie refuses to run—either from her foes, or from her resolve to awaken others to the unimaginable power that can come with fighting the patriarchy in its many forms—and finding one’s own magical inner-strength.


 “The Last Witch in Edinburgh captures the kinship and deep magic found between women as they endure centuries of misogyny and persecution—ultimately reclaiming their power against an insidious, persistent evil. Thompson’s witches are vulnerable and wise, bound together by love and survival. A book both timely and timeless. Read it for your daughters, your sisters, yourself.”— Paulette Kennedy, bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

"Marielle Thompson effortlessly combines mystery, romance and the paranormal in this compelling and beautifully written book. The Last Witch in Edinburgh is at once timely and historical, suffused with a deep understanding of human nature in all its violence, contradictions and glories. Using her deep knowledge of Scottish history, Thompson creates a luminous, terrifying but ultimately redemptive tale, weaving a spell the reader will happily become caught up in." --Carole Lawrence, author of Edinburgh Twilight

"THE LAST WITCH IN EDINBURGH is a tale both dark and hopeful, grim but triumphant. Thompson paints her world with marvelous details of a great Scottish city as well as the mythic stories and powerful magic of Gaelic culture. Readers will love this fresh take on witchcraft, as I did." Louisa Morgan, author of A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES and THE GHOSTS OF BEATRICE BIRD 

"The Last Witch in Edinburgh is set in an alternative version of 1820s Scotland where women’s rights and witchcraft elide. Any woman is at risk of being hung as a witch, but the employees at Rae’s Apothecary Shop have more reason to fear than most—they actually are practitioners of the craft. The protagonist, Nellie, finds community and romance within the shop, and the book follows her journey through the centuries as she learns what it means to find her power. I adored this witchy, feminist, atmospheric story. Fans of The Once and Future Witches and The Lost Apothecary will devour this novel." --Kelsey James, author of The Woman in the Castello

"The Last Witch in Edinburgh is an atmospheric, immersive novel that tugs at the heartstrings. A story that is both steeped in history and tackles contemporary themes with clarity and compassion."-- Elizabeth Lee, author of Cunning Women