By Paula Uruburu
400 pages. Riverhead.
A nubile turn-of-the-century seductress who, as sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens remarked, had "the face of an angel and a heart of a snake," Evelyn Nesbit rose from an impoverished background to dazzle high society and low, modeling for ads as the Gibson Girl, and literally charming the pants off every man she set her sights on. Paula Uruburu's American Eve (Riverhead) tracks the scandalously brilliant career of the girl whose delicate, intoxicating beauty provoked the crime of the century—the murder of her lover, architect Stanford White, by her millionaire husband, Harry Thaw. Uruburu's smart, historically savvy narrative is as riveting as the juiciest gossip fest, and the postcard photographs of 16-year-old Evelyn, with her saucy-innocent eyes and rosebud lips, are...well, to die for.