Juliet Marion Hulme
28 October 1938
Blackheath, London, England
Anne Perry (born Juliet Marion Hulme; 28 October 1938) is an English author of historical detective fiction, best known for her Thomas Pitt and William Monk series. In 1954, at the age of fifteen, she was convicted in the murder of her friend's mother, Honora Rieper. She changed her name after serving a five-year sentence for Rieper's murder.
Born in Blackheath, London, the daughter of physicist Dr. Henry Rainsford Hulme, Perry was diagnosed with tuberculosis as a child and sent to the Caribbean and South Africa in hopes that a warmer climate would improve her health. A 1948 Auckland Star photograph of Juliet arriving in New Zealand was discovered by Auckland Libraries staff and written about in the Heritage et AL blog.She rejoined her family when she was 13 after her father took a position as Rector of Canterbury University College in New Zealand. She attended Christchurch Girls' High School, located in what became the Cranmer Centre.
In June 1954, at the age of 15, Hulme and her best friend Pauline Parker murdered Parker's mother, Honorah Rieper.Hulme's parents were in the process of separating and she was supposed to go to South Africa to stay with a relative. The two teenage friends, who had created a complicated fantasy life together populated with famous actors such as James Mason and Orson Welles, did not want to be separated.
On 22 June 1954, the girls and Honorah Rieper went for a walk in Victoria Park in their hometown of Christchurch. On an isolated path Hulme dropped an ornamental stone so that Rieper would lean over to retrieve it. Parker had planned to hit her mother with half a brick wrapped in a stocking. The girls presumed that one blow would kill her but it took more than 20.
Parker and Hulme stood trial in Christchurch in 1954 and were found guilty on 29 August that year. As they were too young to be considered for the death penalty under New Zealand law at the time, they were convicted and sentenced to be "detained at Her Majesty's pleasure". In practice they were detained at the discretion of the Minister of Justice. They were released separately five years later.
Parker and Hulme are not believed to have had any contact since the trial.
The events formed the basis for the 1994 film Heavenly Creatures , in which Melanie Lynskey portrayed a teenage Pauline Parker and Kate Winslet the teenaged Juliet Hulme. At the time of the film's release, it was not generally known that mystery author "Anne Perry" was Juliet Hulme, whose identity was made public some months after the film's release. Although some presumed Hulme and Parker's relationship to be sexual, Perry stated in 2006 that, while the relationship was obsessive, the two "were never lesbians".
After being released from prison in November 1959, Hulme returned to England and became a flight attendant. For a period she lived in the United States, where she joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1968. She later settled in the Scottish village of Portmahomack where she lived with her mother. Her father had a distinguished scientific career, heading the British hydrogen bomb programme.
Hulme took the name Anne Perry, using her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman , was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many feature recurring characters, most importantly Thomas Pitt, who appeared in her first novel, and amnesiac private investigator William Monk, who first appeared in her 1990 novel The Face of a Stranger. By 2003 she had published 47 novels, and several collections of short stories. Her story "Heroes", which first appeared in the 1999 anthology Murder and Obsession, edited by Otto Penzler, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story.
In 2005, Perry appeared on the Trisha show to discuss the crime on a special themed show.A 2009 documentary film, Anne Perry Interiors, gave a snapshot of her life and the people close to her.
In 2017, Anne Perry left Scotland and moved to Hollywood in order to more effectively promote films based on her novels.
Each series is listed in internal chronological order, according to the author's website.
The two main series each feature a male and a female protagonist. Thomas Pitt is matched with Charlotte; her female society relatives help in the mysteries out of boredom. William Monk is matched with Hester Latterly, a Crimean War nurse. The Monk mysteries are set earlier in the Victorian era (1850s–1860s) than the Pitt books (1880s–1890s). Hester plays a very strong role in these stories; in some cases she is a better investigator than Monk. The Christmas stories involve minor characters such as sisters, bosses, or grandmothers in a personal crisis at a later Christmas time with a strongly enforced redemption message at the end.
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Whilst scrolling through microfilms on a job for a customer, I came across an interesting photo in a 1948 copy of the Auckland Star.
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