Girl in Hyacinth Blue follows a well-wornn trope that fans of the movie The Red Violin
(a favorite of mine) will recognize: A painting hangs on the wall of a professors house. The artist did not sign it. There are no articles of provenance. But still. It might be famous. And we travel, in stories, back in time in descending order of the paintings owners until we discover its provenance. And its meaning.
This was a really fun book and well written. I will add that the author is at her best with madness and passion and not so great at illuminating the mundane, which is ironic, since the painting in question is nothing more than an artistic illumination of the mundane. Highly recommended little book of stories for fans of historical and biographical fiction.
[I listened to this audio book over a weeks worth of commutes; the acting is well done and definitely adds something.]