One title on her Guardian list of ten great books where writers use the circus for their own story needs:
Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd JonesRead about the other titles on the list.
Covered in hair from head to toe, Wild Boy is a "savage spectacle," performing every miserable night in a freak show. One evening, he witnesses a murder and gets framed for it. Assisted by acrobat Clarissa, he sets out to clear his name. This is a delicious romp of a story where circus life is described in all its seedy, Victorian glory.