Novelist Anne Perry dies at 84

Anne Perry, a prolific author whose period thrillers have sold over 25 million copies worldwide, has died at the age of 84.

The British crime writer who helped bludgeon her friend’s mother to death as a 15-year-old and was the inspiration for Peter Jackson’s film Heavenly Creatures died in Los Angeles, according to her publisher.

As a teenager she and her friend Pauline Parker murdered Pauline’s mother in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1954. Honora Mary Parker died after being hit with a brick about 20 times, in a killing that shocked and captivated the country.

A trial heard that the two girls had plotted the murder in a bid to avoid being separated when 16-year-old Parker’s parents were planning to send her abroad. 

As teenagers, they were too young for the death penalty, and were jailed instead.

Perry left New Zealand after her release from prison five years later, and worked for a while as a flight attendant. She also became a Mormon before settling in a small Scottish village.

She began writing under the name she had adopted after her release from prison (she had been born Juliet Hulme), and her first novel was published in 1979.

Perry had reportedly been living in Los Angeles in recent years to promote film adaptations of her many works.

The author’s French publisher, 10/18, told AFP that Perry had died in LA on 10 April.

A statement said Perry would be remembered for her “memorable characters, historical accuracy, the quality of her detective stories, and also for her exploration of social issues”.


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