"Americans sometimes say to me that they have no class system themselves. All human beings have class systems. It can be based on a different thing in a different country, but the thing about breeding is, you can't buy it. You can't buy class." -- Anne Perry
Anne Perry (born Juliet Marion Hulme in Blackheath, London on 28 October 1938) is an English author of historical detective fiction. Perry was convicted of the murder of her friend's mother in 1954 (see Parker-Hulme murder).
"I am now working on the second WWI story and find the challenge marvelous.""I did a complete rewrite of 650 pages in two weeks.""I think it's a terrible thing to write and not enjoy it. It's a sad thing. But of course a lot of people do work because they need to eat. And we all need to eat, but that's not the only reason to work. You couldn't have paid me not to write.""I was born in London, England, in 1938, a few months before the war, and spent the first years of my life there, although I was evacuated a couple of times for short periods. My schooling was very interrupted, both by frequent moves and by ill health.""I wonder how often in the past I may have missed the good in people because I pre-judged, based on the differences?""Mystery writers' conventions are usually good, and this one has been excellent and extremely well prepared and thought out in advance. A lot of people have given their time and their skill, and a good deal of wit, and Anchorage has made us extraordinarily welcome.""Of course there will be disappointments and the way will not always be as I expected it. But if it seemed easy, then that would be the time to worry that I am on the wrong path.""The great question, is there anything at all which is worth fighting such a war about, with the devastating loss it will bring? I believe yes, there are some freedoms which to sacrifice would be EVEN worse.""We believe world peace is inevitable.""You start at the end, and then go back and write and go that way. Not everyone does, but I do. Some people just sit down at the page and start off. I start from what happened, including the why."
The daughter of Dr. Henry Hulme, an English physicist, Perry (then known as Juliet Hulme) 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. She rejoined her family when her father took a position as Rector of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand when she was 13.
Together with her school friend Pauline Parker, Hulme murdered Parker's mother, Honora Rieper, in June 1954. 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 girls, who had created a rich fantasy life together populated with famous actors such as James Mason and Orson Welles, did not want to be separated. They had hoped to go to England with Hulme's father after the divorce.
On 22 June 1954, the girls took Honora Rieper for a walk in Victoria Park in their hometown of Christchurch. On an isolated path Hulme dropped an ornamental stone so that Ms. Rieper would lean over to retrieve it. At that point, Parker had planned to hit her mother with half a brick wrapped in a stocking. The girls presumed that would kill the woman. Instead, it took 45 frenzied blows from both girls to finally kill Honora Rieper. The brutality of the crime has contributed to its notoriety.
Parker and Hulme stood trial in Christchurch in 1954, and were found guilty on August 29 of 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, this sentence meant they were to be detained at the discretion of the Minister of Justice. They were released separately some five years later. A condition of their release was that they were never to meet or contact each other again.
Parker and Hulme are not believed to have had any contact since their trial, as required by the conditions of their release.
These events formed the basis for the 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, in which Melanie Lynskey portrayed a teenage Pauline Parker and Kate Winslet portrayed teenaged Juliet Hulme.
After being released from prison, 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 went on to a distinguished scientific career, heading the British hydrogen bomb programme.
Hulme took the name Anne Perry, the latter being 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 of them feature a number of 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. As of 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.
She was included as an entry in Ben Peek's Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, a novel exploring the nature of truth in literature.
In 2005, Perry appeared on the Trisha show to discuss the crime on a special themed show.