Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anne Perry biography released in the United States

Millions of people around the world enjoy the crime novels of Anne Perry. Intriguing tales set in Victorian England or against the backdrop of the Great War. For a long time, no-one realised the popular British author had a notorious New Zealand connection. It wasn't until the release of Heavenly Creatures in 1994, the first Peter Jackson film to be nominated for an Academy Award - in his pre-Lord of the Rings days - that Anne Perry's past publicly met her present.

In a shock to readers around the world, it came out that this writer of murderous tales was in fact herself a notorious murderess, Juliet Hulme of Parker-Hulme infamy. Along with childhood best friend Pauline Parker, Hulme/Perry bludgeoned Parker's mother to death in Christchurch in 1954. It was a crime that not only shocked the nation, but got global coverage, even being mentioned in TIME magazine.

Much has been written about the horrific crime, then and since, delving into the court case, the scandal surrounding the girls' friendship, the reasons and motives, the fact the two escaped the gallows due to their age (and perhaps gender) at a time when New Zealand still had the death penalty, and their disappearance into anonymity following release.

But until recently, no-one had ever really talked to Perry/Hulme herself about it. The acclaimed author was something of a recluse, but eventually Dr Joanne Drayton, who penned an excellent biography of Dame Ngaio Marsh, became the first writer to sit down with Perry and delve deeply into her complex life. The result is a fascinating biography, THE SEARCH FOR ANNE PERRY, which was released in New Zealand in late 2012, and this month has been published in the United State (Arcade Publishing).

You can read more about this book at Drayton's website here.

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