1: Possession By A.S. Byatt (1990)
A beautifully written & structured novel combining literary detection, campus comedy and tragic Victorian romantic drama. Deeply engrossing and an emotionally satisfying read for all those who love supurb literature.
2: Fingersmith By Sarah Waters (2002)
A Dickensian gothic melodrama and lesbian romance, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is a superb page-turning work of popular literature, replete with high tension, restrained eroticism and sudden twists and turns like a Wilkie Collins novel. The atmosphere of the squalor of Victorian London, the horror of the 19th century madhouse and the isolated mansion in the countryside is conveyed brilliantly and the characters, especially the two young narrators, Sue and Maud, are so vivid you are almost inside their heads. An absolute must for lovers of historical crime fiction, gaslight romance and dark Victoriana.
3: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (1992)
Vampires are two a penny these days but Kim Newman's Anno Dracula first published in 1992 was a pioneer in the resurrection of the undead in popular entertainment. This is more then a vampire novel; gas-lit murder mystery set in the dark fog-bound streets of Victorian London, rub shoulders with the 'what if' alternative history genre-in this case what if the King of the Vampires had won in Bram Stoker's classic novel. A wonderfully imaginative (but gory) romp.