Anne Perry a Crime Writer with Her Own Dark Tale
“Anne Perry, the prolific London-born author of historical and socially conscious crime fiction who in her teens served five years in prison for murder, a sordid past that came to wide attention with the release of [Peter Jackson’s] 1994 movie [Heavenly Creatures], has died in Los Angeles. She was 84,” Anita Gates writes for The New York Times.
“Perry was a successful author long before that noisy skeleton in her closet was revealed,” Gates writes.
“Perry’s books, including the Thomas Pitt and William Monk series of historical mysteries, have sold more than 26 million copies, according to her website. In 1998, when The Times of London named its 100 Masters of Crime of the past century, there she was on the list alongside Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett and Arthur Conan Doyle.
“But she was equally famous – or close to it – because of a grisly 1954 homicide in New Zealand: the bludgeoning to death of her best friend’s mother.
“Juliet Marion Hulme, later known as Anne Perry, moved to Christchurch at the age of 13, for her father’s new job as rector of Canterbury University College.
“At Christchurch Girls’ High School, Juliet and her new best friend, Pauline Yvonne Parker, bonded, invented an elaborate medieval-like fantasy world and worshiped celebrities, especially the opera singer Mario Lanza, as saints.
“When Juliet’s parents decided to divorce and leave New Zealand, the girls came up with a solution to avoid being separated: murder Pauline’s mother.”
Original article by Anita Gates, The New York Times, April 12, 2023.