Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

by Peter Graham

Several years ago (probably more like 20), I began reading a mystery series written by Anne Perry, which was a decent enough series for me to read several of the books. When I read this title, I thought Anne Perry must have written about some infamous murder and was rather taken aback to learn that Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century was actually a story about a horrific murder committed BY Anne Perry! When she was a teenager, Perry, whose given name is Juliet Hulme, together with her close friend Pauline Parker conspired together to brutally murder Pauline's mother. The act was premeditated and vicious and neither Hulme nor Parker at any time were remorseful or regretful about what they had done. The girls were very matter of fact in stating that Mrs. Parker wasn't a very happy person who was interfering with them being together so she needed to be eliminated. In New Zealand, minors committing criminal offenses served terms "at the pleasure of her majesty", which for Hulme and Parker amounted to barely over 5 years in prison. Upon their release, both girls' names were changed, and Anne Perry went on to become a very successful mystery writer.

This was not a very well-written book, there was a lot of unnecessary background information, a disjointed timeline, and much repetition. Plus Graham was very heavy-handed in providing excuses for the girls. However, I was intrigued by the murder and trial details due to the fact I was familiar with Perry's books. If you were interested, I'm sure you could find a better account or there's even a movie. 

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