Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for The Red Widow:
There might be a correlation between amazing arrogance and sociopathy.
The story of Margeurite Steinheil and the murder of her husband and mother.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:
Margeurite apparently got sick of her husband within two weeks of marrying. A match made in heaven it was not.
Fun Fact for History Nerds:
Paris at the time of the murder was 80% poor. Yeah, you usually only hear about the rich parts.
My Take on The Red Widow:
Not every book contains a hero. This one certainly doesn’t.
The Red Widow follows the life of Margeurite “Meg” Steinheil. Meg was a very popular topic in the late 1800s/early 1900s. She flaunts certain rules while abiding by many others of the era. She does have a habit of people dying around her and some are definitely not natural. I will not reveal any more due to spoilers. However, there is certainly enough material for the book to cover.
What makes this a very good read is that the author, Sarah Horowitz, is one of the few people who does not fall for Meg’s charms. Yes, there are many things Meg had to face that we object to nowadays. However, Meg is also a narcissistic, anti-Semitic opportunist. I have read many historical true crime books which fall in love with their subjects and bend the narrative to portray them in the best light. Horowitz avoids this and gives a clear-eyed picture of the events as they are known or unknown.
You will not like Meg, but that doesn’t mean her story isn’t fascinating. It is.
A great historic true crime book. Read it. Buy it here!
If You Liked This Try:
- Miriam C. Davis, The Axeman of New Orleans
- Skip Hollandsworth, The Midnight Assassin
- Hallie Rubenhold, The Five
- J. Robinson, Mystery on the Isle of Shoals