The Fugitive Colours

Written by Nancy Bilyeau
Review by Sally Zigmond

The first historical thriller in Bilyeau’s series, The Blue, introduced Genevieve Planché, a Huguenot living in London’s Spitalfields who was coerced into espionage at a time of war between France and England regarding a sought-after blue dye. Now, in 1764, the countries are at peace, and Genevieve is married to Thomas Sturbridge, a celebrated scientist, and mother to young Pierre.

She runs a workshop designing flower patterns for the silk-weaving industry, whereas Thomas is often away because he tutors the young son of the Earl of Sandwich. Genevieve still longs to be an artist and is excited when Sir Joshua Reynolds takes an interest in her and the work of her deceased grandfather. But why? And why is she still of interest to the French visitors to London who seem to know all about her and her past? Can Thomas have anything to do with it? Is her love for him fading away, and has another kind gentleman caught her eye?

The author has written another historical mystery full of intriguing twists and turns and a vicious crime. My only caveat is her tendency for repetition and detailed explanation, both of which slow the action down. That aside, this is a cracking historical spy thriller.