Catherine Monvoisin, or Montvoisin, née Deshayes, known as "La Voisin" (c. 1640 – February 22, 1680), was a French fortune teller, poisoner and an alleged sorceress, one of the chief personages in the affaire des poisons, during the reign of Louis XIV.
Villeneuve-sur-Gravois From Lenore: "Moving toward the candlelight, he came face to face with the painting of a French peasant woman grinning from behind a spider's web of broken glass with a bullet hole in the centre. He glanced at the brass nameplate on the frame. La Voisin, it said. As a student of French history he knew who she was. La Voisin, sorceress at the court of Louis XIV. Curious...."
The Affair of the Poisons (L'affaire des poisons) was a major murder scandal in France which took place in 1677–1682, during the reign of King Louis XIV. During it, a number of prominent members of the aristocracy were implicated and sentenced on charges of poisoning and witchcraft. The scandal reached into the inner circle of the king. It led to execution of 36 people.