The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton- This was my first Michael Crichton novel, and I must say that I got sucked in pretty quickly. I had to read this for my Victorian lit class- and I know you're thinking, "Chelsey, how could this be for your Victorian lit class when it is CLEARLY written by a well-known contemporary author of pure fiction?" And my answer for you my friends is this: Crichton wrote this historical fiction novel about the Great Train Robbery of 1855 in England. So yes, it does seem odd that I read a Crichton novel for my Vic. lit class, but it also makes sense, no?
I won't go too much into the plot because there are so many subplots and main plot threads that go on that it's hard to explain it in one simple paragraph. But I will say that this is about one of the biggest and greatest robberies of all time- no one thought that it could be done (and as you get farther into the novel you can't believe that it's possible also). Crichton does an excellent job of immersing readers into the Victorian world and mindset- every other chapter is a further description into how the Victorian society is run and what each fact of history means to the story.
I gotta tell you- I was against reading a Crichton novel that was supposedly Victorian when all I've ever thought of Crichton has been contemporary, but he really pulls it off. Definitely read this if you're looking for a glimpse into the past, wanting a good mystery or an adventure novel, or are just looking to be surprised ( in a good way) in the overall subject matter and content. I highly recommend this book. Enjoy!