#BookReview The Red Widow by Sarah Horowitz @sarahehorowitz @Sourcebooks #SarahHorowitz #Sourcebooks #TheRedWidow Title: The Red Widow

Author: Sarah Horowitz

Published by: Sourcebooks on Sep. 6, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Sex, corruption, and power: the rise and fall of the Red Widow of Paris

Paris, 1889: Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a marriage to a failed artist twenty years her senior, she knows her options are limited.

Determined to fashion herself into a new woman, Meg orchestrates a scandalous plan with her most powerful resource: her body. Amid the dazzling glamor, art, and romance of bourgeois Paris, she takes elite men as her lovers, charming her way into the good graces of the rich and powerful. Her ambitions, though, go far beyond becoming the most desirable woman in Paris; at her core, she is a woman determined to conquer French high society. But the game she plays is a perilous one: navigating misogynistic double-standards, public scrutiny, and political intrigue, she is soon vaulted into infamy in the most dangerous way possible.

A real-life femme fatale, Meg influences government positions and resorts to blackmail-and maybe even poisoning-to get her way. Leaving a trail of death and disaster in her wake, she earns the name the “Red Widow” for mysteriously surviving a home invasion that leaves both her husband and mother dead. With the police baffled and the public enraged, Meg breaks every rule in the bourgeois handbook and becomes the most notorious woman in Paris.

An unforgettable true account of sex, scandal, and murder, The Red Widow is the story of a woman determined to rise-at any cost.


Interesting, informative, and memorable!

The Red Widow is the compelling story detailing the life, actions, and scandals of Margeurite Steinheil, a woman whose desire, determination, and sexual prowess had her carousing with and engaging in some intimate relationships with some of the most influential people in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century but whose ultimate inability to tell the truth also led to her becoming the prime suspect in the unsolved double murder of her husband and mother.

The writing is crisp and precise. And the novel is a fascinating, well-researched tale of a crime with no quick, straightforward conclusion and a woman whose incredible ability to effortlessly lie and manipulate men, the system, and society may have even allowed her to get away with murder.

Overall, The Red Widow is a true crime novel that includes valuable, insightful data into a time and place plagued by elitist mentalities, inequality, prejudices, overindulgence, and a murder investigation riddled with inconsistent behaviours, retracted statements, and little to no concrete evidence.


This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.




Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Sarah Horowitz

Sarah Horowitz is Professor of History at W&L University in Virginia, where she is also head of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. She has a PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley and has published in scholarly journals as well as the Washington Post. This is her second book.

Photo by Jen Fox.