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Nancy Bilyeau's acclaimed first novel, THE CROWN, was shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Dagger Award for historical fiction and dubbed 'the year's most impressive debut' by the judging panel. It took five years to research and write. Nancy, a magazine editor, lives in New York City with her family. Find out more about Nancy and her lifelong passion for Tudor history via her website, www.nancybilyeau.com.
Author photo © Joshua Kessler
The Blue is an enthralling story of art and science, focusing on the competitive nature of the porcelain industry in the 18th century and the obsessive quest for excellence. Feisty protagonist Genevieve Planché is English-born but fiercely proud of her family’s Huguenot origins. A talented artist, she dreams of being a world-famous painter but is being ignored by the male-dominated art world. When she meets the charming and mysterious Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he promises to make her dreams come true if she can just do one ‘simple task’ for him – to discover the secrets of a highly sought-after shade of blue. Set against a vivid background of wartime England and France, The Blue provides a powerful blend of fact and fiction – switching between London’s Spitalfields, industrial Derby and France’s Sèvres, highlighting the politics, religious intolerance and social divide of that time period. This is an entertaining combination of history, adventure and mystery, filled with passion and secrets, deception and espionage, as Genevieve begins to question where her loyalties really lie. The Blue is a perfect choice for historical thriller fans, with its flowing prose, well-researched background, rich characters, vivid descriptive writing and escalating tension. This is certainly a novel to savour, ponder and enjoy. I loved it!
Second in this compelling and highly readable Tudor thriller series following the 16th century adventures of (now cast out) nun Joanna Stafford. Treason, conspiracies and a dangerous prophecy draw Joanna back from the quiet life she had made for herself after being cast out of Dartford Priory - but she isn’t prepared for the gravity of the situation she finds herself in or the responsibility she now holds. Nancy Bilyeau has followed up her impressive debut with an accomplished historical thriller perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom, Philippa Gregory and S. J. Parris. Click here to see the first book in the series, The Crown.
March 2013 Debut of the Month. Shortlisted for the 2012 CWA Ellis Peters Award. Who would have thought a murder mystery set in 1537 and having a young nun as the central character would be so compelling and readable? The nun in question, Joanna Stafford, must find a legendary crown in order to save her father and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. Mixing in real people and places into this tale of murder, blood and betrayal really makes the book come alive and fans of Hilary Mantel should definitely put it on their book lists. Click here to see the second book in the series, The Chalice.