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The Search for Anne Perry

3.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  419 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
The world knew Anne Perry as the writer of bestselling crime fiction. After the release of Heavenly Creatures, about the 1954 Parker-Hulme murders, a shocking revelation came to light. Anne Perry is actually Juliet Hume - the teenager convicted of jointly murdering her friend's mother. This book tells her story
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 986)
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Jenni Ogden
Sep 08, 2015 Jenni Ogden rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
I picked this new biography off a bookshelf while waiting in the airport for a delayed flight. Although I have never read an Anne Perry book, I have seen a documentary about her as a writer, and of course as a NZer I know the story of her previous teenage life as Juliet Hulme, who murdered, with her close friend Pauline Parker, Pauline's unsuspecting mother. This all happened in Christchurch, not far from where my daughter lives now. As Anne Perry she has written a remarkable number of novels, h ...more
The Search for Anne Perry by Joanne Drayton is a 2014 Arcade Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I remember distinctly having a conversation with a friend on a popular book club site about how much we enjoyed the work of Anne Perry. Another member added that while her books were entertaining enough, Anne's personal history was what really peaked his interest. I had no idea what he referring to, so he began to elaborate.
Lucie Mckenna
Oct 20, 2012 Lucie Mckenna rated it it was ok
This book attempts to understand Anne Perry through her fiction, and there is excessive detail on the characters and plots that i found annoying. I felt the author could have explored the moral parables between the characters and the author without going into so much detail. Fans of Anne Perry's work might not mind so much. I skim read most of those bits, which made for a very slow start.
The rest of the book was fairly interesting, about Anne's life, her struggles as an author and her professio
William Freeman
Sep 29, 2013 William Freeman rated it did not like it
Read for Book Group not a well written biography at all
Apr 18, 2016 chucklesthescot rated it liked it
Shelves: true, truecrime
I first saw Peter Jackson's brilliant film Heavenly Creatures not long after it came out, and the fact that it was based on the diary of one of the girls involved intrigued me. For those who don't know the story, in 1950's New Zealand, two teenage girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, murdered Pauline's mother when the girls were to be seperated by Juliet moving to South Africa. Both girls were jailed and then started new lives with new identities after being released. When the film was releas ...more
Sam Sattler
Finally...a book that gets inside the head of author Anne Perry in which Perry herself explains what was in her head when she, along with another teen girl, brutally beat that girl's mother to death with a stocking-enclosed piece of brick.

Because I've been wondering for years about Perry's rather strange decision to make her living as a murder mystery writer after having been convicted of committing one of the more horrible murders in the history of New Zealand, I had high hopes that "The Searc
Bibi Rose
May 27, 2014 Bibi Rose rated it liked it
I'm not sure the extensive summarizing of the novels really works, but I have difficulty imagining how the book would have come across without them. I think the book is extremely valuable in the way it brings out what Perry really went through in the aftermath of the crime. There is a point where she is in prison and decides to fully accept responsibility for her situation. "Nobody did this to me." This was a 15-year-old sent to serve an indeterminate sentence at hard labor in a qhastly old pris ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Sep 12, 2015 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
Anybody picking up this book will almost certainly know some of the background information - Anne Perry was once Juliet Hulme, and she and her best friend Pauline Parker brutally murdered Pauline's mother, Honora, in 1954. Juliet and Pauline were aged 15 and 16 at the time. They escaped the death sentence because they were underage, but did about six years (of life sentences) in prison. After Peter Jackson made the movie Heavenly Creatures (released in 1994), intense interest was again aroused i ...more
Aug 19, 2014 Chel rated it really liked it
For a long time I have been intrigued by the relationship between Anne Perry's murder mysteries -- which usually have a component of moral struggle in them or a story of redemption -- and the experiences of her own life. I've wanted to know how she thinks about her past, and how does it influence her writing? This biography is as close as I will ever get, I imagine, to having that curiosity addressed. Not all my questions are answered, but they are, at least, explored.

The book was always intend
Cheryl M-M
Jul 12, 2014 Cheryl M-M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book and story has been a long time coming, and I for one am glad someone has written it.

It clears up a lot of unanswered questions and more importantly we get to hear the story from Perry's own perspective.

I can remember when the story broke about Anne Perry and the life she left behind her many years ago. The life of Juliet Hulme, a young girl convicted of conspiring to and actually killing her friends mother. This young girl, murderess at the age of 15, was to go on and become a world re
Mar 10, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Since the minute I finished the movie Heavenly Creatures, I have been fascinated by the idea that someone who committed murder as a teenager would move on to write about murder as successfully and copiously as Anne Perry has as an adult. I have to say that since I learned about the murder, I have been turned off by the idea of reading Perry. I was curious, but felt that I shouldn't support someone writing about murder from personal experience so I haven't read any of her books. However, reading ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Tanya rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club

Although I really enjoyed the story of Anne Perry's life, I found all the detail about her books a bit too much. I also thought some of the ideas didn't flow well together. It also finished rather abruptly. It wasn't a page turner but I enjoyed it and wanted to read it through.
Dorothy Grenville
Sep 02, 2012 Dorothy Grenville rated it it was amazing
This book is thoroughly researched, well written and a serious biography, that is a page turner. The narrative bowls along and in one of the very clever tools the writer uses, links and weaves Anne`s story with a particular novel that she has written, which works extremely well.
Jan 10, 2015 Fiona rated it liked it
This should have been a really interesting story but because of the author's determination to analyse Anne Perry's moral growth by dissecting her writing, it wasn't interesting at all. I have read several of Anne Perry's books and talking about them all one at a time only spoiled for me the ones I haven't read yet. Incidentally, describing all the plots makes each book sound more bizarre than the last - with manacled corpses and decomposing coachmen.

I was not aware of the details of the murder a
Story Circle Book Reviews
Sep 29, 2014 Story Circle Book Reviews rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The Search for Anne Perry is a well written and well researched nonfiction exposé. It is a must read for the legions of Anne Perry fans. However, the book structure is a bit difficult to follow for those of us who are not familiar with Anne Perry novels, the first part of the book especially. There are many references to characters and plots in Perry's book series, and having not read those books, I had to scramble to figure out what was going on. Though I hate to admit it, I skipped over most o ...more
Kerryn Whiteside
Jun 21, 2012 Kerryn Whiteside rated it liked it
I think it was my mother who first told me that Anne Perry had been "outed" as the teenage murderess played by Kate Winslett in Peter Jackson's 1994 movie Heavenly Creatures. Juliette Hulme (Winslett) and her friend Pauline Parker were convicted of murdering Pauline's mother Honorah on 1954. Having enjoyed a number of her Inspector Pitt series of Victorian crime novels I was intrigued by the story. But did not think of it again until recently when a customer asked me whether we had any of Anne P ...more
Helen Goltz
Sep 30, 2012 Helen Goltz rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing story, well researched and academically written. It is a bit of a difficult read if you are just wanting to know the story of Anne Perry as it (cleverly) interweaves fact and fiction, past and present.

I am a little torn by this book ... before I read it, I was open to understanding Anne Perry, but when I read again about the brutality of the crime and the casualness of the girls when in court (smiling at each other, showing no remorse) I found this very disturbing. I accep
P Seeley
Nov 24, 2015 P Seeley rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, biograpphy
The biggest problem with this book is the misleading title and cover copy. Given Anne Perry's long-undisclosed identity as the teenage murderer Juliet Hulme, a biography which purports to detail the "search" for her and has a front cover label claiming it will disclose "The hidden life of a bestselling crime writer," one naturally has reason to expect a bit of nitty-gritty about the murder for which she was imprisoned.

The actual nature and the intent of this biography, however, is truly disclos
Finding Anne Perry through her fiction

Drayton gave a very interesting take on Anne Perry by exploring themes from her fiction. She also gives us the background to the murder that Anne then known as Juliet and her friend Pauline committed of Pauline's mother. I remember when the news came out about Anne Perry being a murderer but I never really cared enough to pursue the details at the time since she was not an author that I read.

However, this month the book club that I'm part of decided to read
Anne S
Jul 15, 2015 Anne S rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
I debated reading this book when I saw it on the shelf due having read another book about her life (before she became Anne Perry) when she was convicted of having killed a friend's mother in New Zealand when she was 15 and her friend was 16.

I have not read any of Anne Perry's murder mystery books because I didn't feel that I should support a murderess (who I thought got away with it) and who seemed to be making money off her exploits.

This book changed my idea of Anne Perry a bit in trying to exp
Feb 09, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
I've probably read at least 30 of Anne Perry's mysteries and have blogged about her WWI series. But until I came across mention of Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century, I had no idea about Perry's background. Who would ever guess that a famous murder mystery writer actually committed a murder as a teenager in New Zealand in 1954. The story came to light when Peter Jackson was making his film — Heavenly Creatures — about the crime. Perry and her best friend murdered the friend's mother and se ...more
Deborah  Cleaves
Jan 09, 2016 Deborah Cleaves rated it really liked it
Very disappointing read. Definitely not plagiarized; fully 1/4 of the book is footnoted. However, is little more than a summary of the crime and multiple plot outlines of her books. And not all of them either. If you are looking to know the woman herself, you will not find her here. Would not recommend beyond good use of language and grammar == definitely not a biography. She never found Anne Perry or Juliet Hulme either, for that matter. Much was written but it failed to inform in any way.
Dec 10, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
Anne Perry is a well-known and well-respected writer. I'd read several of her mysteries set in Victorian England before it was revealed to the world that Perry was actually Juliet Hulme, one of the teenage murderers whose story was made famous in Peter Jackson's film "Heavenly Creatures". This was an interesting book for me on several levels. First, the story of the murder and the strange friendship that precipitated it was fascinating to read with a bit of Perry's late-in-life perspective throw ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Search for Anne Perry,by Joanne Brayton, Narrated by Susannah Tyrell, Produced by Audio Studios, downloaded from

I only tried reading one Anne Perry book. I’m not really so much into historical mysteries from Victorian England so I stopped there. But I along with everyone else has heard about the fact that 60 years ago, now, Anne Perry helped her best friend kill her best friend’s mother. It was a crazy and totally illogical set of circumstances. Both girls served time in New Zea
Feb 04, 2015 Andie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Anne Perry's Victorian murder mysteries for a long, long time, and I was shocked to discover in 1995 that she was one of the "heavenly Creatures" in Peter Jackson's film about obsessive teenage friendship and matricide in New Zealand in the 1950's. This book tells Anne's story - not only of the crime and her time in prison, but also of her carving out a new life for herself after her release.

The story of the crime and Anne's personal journey in search of redemption is fascinat
Aug 14, 2015 Gilda rated it liked it
I'd give this book a 3.5. If you're a fan of Anne Perry, you'll find this a very interesting book. It is a literary biography so the author talks about how Ms Perry got started writing & the difficulties she faced as well as the plots of her various novels. But the author also talks about Ms Perry's hidden past and she writes it in such a way that you have to continue to read the book to find out what happened. A very good read.
Dec 27, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was another good find from OHFB and kept me entertained through another round of the flu. I honestly didn't know anything about the author, Anne Perry, or her various crime novels before I began this book. However, I did know some basic facts of the murder case which took place in New Zealand decades prior. It was a little hard at first to reconcile the fact that the crime writer was the same young girl who committed such a crime. The author not only attempted to show the stark differe ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having only recently discovered Anne Perry as an author, I am somewhat new to the history and was therefore quite intrigued to see this book on the shelves at the bookstore. The fact of Ms. Perry's involvement in a murder is undoubtedly the largest pull of interest for reading a book about her life and I admit I was drawn in by that undeniable does a murderess end up a renowned author?

I think this book does a reasonable job narrating the progression of Ms. Perry's life both as an
Pen Fairchild
Oct 30, 2015 Pen Fairchild rated it really liked it
Shelves: writers, crime, audiobook
Anne Perry's books are favorites of my mother's, and I grew up reading and generally enjoying them. As a fledgling writer, I am always interested in the processes and influences of writers whose work I like, so I was drawn to this book even though it clearly disappoints some readers/listeners.

I can understand the reaction. While carefully researched and thoughtfully put together, the book's organization seems forced. Accounts of Perry as a successful adult writer alternate with the story of the
May 25, 2014 Sari rated it did not like it
A fascinating story that is written in such a way so as to make the remarkable seem positively dull. I received more insight reading the Wikipedia article on Anne Perry's life. In addition to which, the plot summaries for each significant Anne Perry novel were unnecessary and only served to spoil these books that I had previously looked forward to reading.
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