If you avoid plague novels like their subject and, for now at least, Middlemarch is more than you can chew, I’d recommend The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.

The hero, Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, is trapped. Not because he’s being held hostage, or because he’s been wrongly imprisoned, but because he’s laid up in the hospital with a broken leg, having fallen through a trap door while chasing a perp.