This is one of my favourite genres: victorian sensational books. All that drama, mystery, plotting and intrigue. It’s like reading a gossipy soap-opera with guilded carriages and dastardly villains. The first book I ever read that was classed as “sensational” was Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. From the first page I was hooked: A 19th century who-dunnit complete with beautiful but cunning villainess, rambling old houses and an upper-class layabout-turned-detective. Fabulous!
Lady Audley’s Secret was one of the first “sensation” novels ever written, and while it doesn’t have the sophisticated and multi-layered plots of todays thrillers, that keep us guessing until the very end and on the edge of our seets, it is nonetheless a great page turner and so much fun. This book was originally serialised in a paper back in 1862, and I can imagine eagerly awaiting the next installment as they would have done back then.
Have you read any sensational novels? Any other recommendations?