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Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  3,781 ratings  ·  557 reviews
On June 22, 1954, teenage friends Juliet Hulme--better known as bestselling mystery writer Anne Perry--and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a New Zealand park with Pauline's mother, Honora. Half an hour later, the girls returned alone, claiming that Pauline's mother had had an accident. But when Honora Parker was found in a pool of blood with the brick used to bludgeon he ...more
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Skyhorse (first published 2011)
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Lajet I think "Nora" is a nickname for "honora", and Rieper was her partner's name which she used until the arrest of Pauline, when it was discovered she n…more I think "Nora" is a nickname for "honora", and Rieper was her partner's name which she used until the arrest of Pauline, when it was discovered she never married Pauline's father. The state then insisted that Pauline be charged with the last name "Parker" - her mother's legal name. Since Honora was then dead, I presume the legal system and therefore the media referred to her as "Parker," not "Rieper." So Nor Rieper and HOnorah Parker are the same person. I think.(less)

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How does one assign stars to this story of two self-centered teens who murdered the mother of one of them--so brutally that now, almost 60 years later, the details are still too horrible to read and the act too inhuman to imagine? I didn't like it---the subject matter was too frightening. I did like it--the author did a very thorough job of describing these young women, their lives and homes, their relationship, the murder, the trial and their sentences, outrageously too short--5 and a half year ...more
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Until this book popped up in my suggestion feed, I had no idea that Anne Perry and Juliet Hulme were one and the same. As a longtime fan of the Pitt and Monk novels I was quite surprised and more than a little disturbed.

Upon finishing the book I watched Reflections of the Past: An Open Discussion of the Parker/Hulme Murder Case, as well as Anne Perry: Interiors. (both available through Amazon streaming)

Ms. Perry still takes little responsibility for her actions so long ago. In her own words she
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my fellow ghouls!
I have to be honest & say that Pauline Parker & Juliet Hulme must have been two of the most arrogant, conceited, affected & straight out unlikeable teenagers ever to walk on this planet. Juliet Hulme did also have equally unlikeable (&, in the case of her father, uncaring) parents & Pauline's father appears to have been very distant with his children. It is certainly ironic that the only parent who made any attempt to actually parent was seen as the obstacle in the way of Juliet & Pauline's naiv ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
During my teens and twenties I read quite a bit of crime, both fictional and non-. Eventually I dropped the true crime because it was just depressing. Real crime isn't clever, motives are frankly stupid, and the criminals are largely just blundering about. That's all true here. Certainly there was premeditation, but the planning wasn't terribly rigorous. Two teen girls who loved each other didn't want to be separated, so they killed the mother they blamed for not letting the be together. They we ...more
Vanessa Meachen
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This was fascinating and compelling. I was surprised at first that there had never been a full-length book devoted to the Parker-Hulme case (apart from Parker-Hulme: A Lesbian View), and then I realised that if there was one I would already have it :) Peter Graham has done a wonderful job of examining this case from many perspectives and of examining all the different treatments of the story from newspaper coverage of the day up to 'Heavenly Creatures'.

One of the things I most appreciated was G
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this as part of my New Zealand November reading project in 2015. I rediscovered the title when interviewing two women from my in-person book club, and they were talking about how they use the nominations list as a to-read list, often reading books that weren't voted into one of the nine selections for the year. They both mentioned this one as a title they wish we had as a pick! And perhaps the only one we ever came close to set in New Zealand.

This is a journalistic account of two girls, J
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Difficult read. I felt that I was back doing case study work for the MS in Psychology for Counseling- or at least deep in clinical related eval testing. And I also came on this book (Kindle)completely cold turkey. Never realizing at all that the author I have read repeatedly (Anne Perry) had this kind of thing in her past.

This book is deep and very dark. I would not recommend it to many who read for pleasure. It was not entertaining. And it went beyond that to becoming a depressant, with some v
May 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
I had such high hopes for this book, but sadly, it’s kind of a mess. I have required reading to do & I moved this ahead of that and - well, it was a mistake. I’m wondering, has anyone that I know seen the movie Heavenly Creatures? I’ve asked my co-workers, my husband, my doctor, & a not-too-hip table of people at the bar & gotten a resounding No from everyone. I’ve seen it possibly thirty-eight times. I’ve seen it enough times that as I read this I heard each diary entry quoted in Melanie Lynske ...more
The brutal murder, in 1954, of Honorah Parker by two teenage girls - one of whom was her daughter - shocked the world. Although the story has been immortalized in Peter Jackson's film "Heavenly Creatures", there are few books on the subject. In this volume, Peter Graham covers the girls early years, the obsessive relationship that grew from their meeting at CGHS, and the events leading up to the murder, their trial and incarceration.

It is a fascinating and sad case. I hadn't realised how Juliet
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Written by a New Zealand lawyer who was a child at the time of the most famous murder trial in New Zealand’s history, this is a thorough examination of the case from all perspectives. The premeditated murder of a woman by her 16 year old daughter and the daughter’s 15 year old friend is shocking to learn about. To be able to analyze a murder many decades after it occurred makes for a very interesting history of how the lives of the families involved were affected. Several historical fiction book ...more
This was a thorough treatment of the New Zealand murder of a girl's mother by the girl and her friend, in 1954. I enjoyed the description of the events preceding the murder, about the murder, and the events afterward. The sections in the beginning which described both families for three generations were unnecessary, for me. Recommended for those who enjoy true crime books and/or detailed psychological descriptions of teens with personality disorders and/or psychosis. ...more
Sam Sattler
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Because in 1994 Anne Perry’s books were not yet selling in the numbers they soon would sell, many of her current fans (if they were old enough even to have heard about it at the time) missed the big announcement that year about the author’s true identity. Some forty years after having been convicted of one of the more infamous murders in the history of New Zealand, a New Zealand journalist revealed that Anne Perry is none other than convicted murderer Juliet Hulme – the same Juliet Hulme who in ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This true crime book is excellent. First of all, the story is compelling.
Secondly, this book is the perfect length, and the chapters are short enough that if you just want to read for a little while you’re not going to get bogged down in a long chapter.

Lastly, The writing is crisp and to the point. Mr. Graham deftly writes about the Hulme/Parker murder case where two fifteen year-old girls commit matricide. And if that doesn’t sound odd enough, the author includes many sections of Pauline Parke
Bernadette Calonego
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
First I was not tempted to read this book because years ago, I had seen the movie "Heavenly Creatures" by director Peter Jackson about this famous matricide by two 15-year old girls in New Zealand in 1954. But then I decided to read it and I don`t regret it. This is true-crime at its finest.

The book resonated with me - and still does - long after I had put it down. I think it is a great advantage that the author is from New Zealand himself. He was able to put some myths straight (i.e. some inacc
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the years, I have lost count of the number of true crime books I have read about the murder, or crime, ‘of the century’. However, as murders go, this is certainly a fascinating account of a crime which not only caught the imagination of the public, but which involved Anne Perry; who later became an extremely successful author of historical crime mysteries. In June, 1954, two young friends – Juliet Hulme (later Anne Perry) and Pauline Parker – killed Pauline’s mother in a brutal atttack. It ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Have read nearly half and so far I find it quite interesting.

So happy after the killing.

Nine months before the murder Pauline not happy on this class photo.

"Both sets of eyes, though different far, hold many mysteries strange.
Impassively they watch the race of man decay and change.
Hatred burning bright in the brown eyes, with enemies for fuel,
Icy scorn glitters in the grey eyes, contemptuous and cruel."

Quote of Pauline Parker written in her diary

Finished yesterday January 10 and I thought it
Wow. Who knew Anne Perry was a semi-delusional narcissist? No wonder she's a bestselling mystery author.

If you haven't seen Peter Jackson's movie "Heavenly Creatures", this crime may be new to you. But in 1954, two teen girls in New Zealand - Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker - murdered Pauline's mother by hitting her repeatedly over the head with a brick.

I had seen the movie, but didn't realize until I saw the title of this book that Juliet Hulme became Anne Perry.

The book appears to be well-docu
Nancy Oakes
Jun 16, 2017 added it
Shelves: true-crime
A long time ago, I watched Peter Jackson's film Heavenly Creatures for the first time and found myself captivated by the murder that inspired the film; since then I've watched it a number of times and just recently discovered the uncut version which I watched during a week when my husband was away on business. I'm not really a major true crime person, but there are some cases, like this one, that stick in the mind. This case took place in the early 1950s in New Zealand, where, as the author tell ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
New Zealand on a fine wintery day in June 1954 a woman, her daughter and her daughter’s best friend took a walk in nearby Victoria Park. The little group stopped at a tea kiosk for refreshments and then walked further into the park. The next thing Agnes Richie, owner of the tea kiosk knew was that the two girls turned up screaming that Pauline’s mother Mrs Rieper had fallen, and there was lots of blood. There was no fall, Mrs Rieper had been bludgeoned to death by the two fifteen year old girls. ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was intense. The murder of Honorah Rieper by her daughter Pauline and Pauline's best friend Juliet Hulme. Taking place in New Zealand in the 50s, the murder rocked the country. How could two seemingly normal girls commit a brutal crime? That question is never really answered. There are many explanations offered, but none seem to truly get to the heart of the matter. So what makes this story so compelling besides the sensational nature of the crime?

Because one of the murderers, Juliet
I have been wanting to read this book for several months, and it finally came out as a Kindle edition. The book was very good, revealed some information about the case that I had not previously seen or read anywhere else. Anyone who has been intrigued by this case as I have been should find it an interesting read. If you want the Kindle edition however the name has been changed to "Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century," and it has been VERY POORLY edited. In fact I don't think there has been ...more
This is fascinating reading, but a good third of it is unnecessary excess detail on marginal figures in the story. A book would have to work pretty hard to bore me with this particular story, and I was definitely drifting. Three stars for obvious intense research and the story itself.
J. Bryce
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most Americans -- indeed, most people of this generation -- probably know this story only from Peter Jackson's early film, Heavenly Creatures (1994), which was not only his break-through film but also that of Kate Winslet. This is the story of the Parker-Hulme murder, in which a pair of New Zealand teenagers killed the mother of one due, probably, to their adolescent infatuation with each other and a certain amount of mental disorder.

The American edition has a more America-friendly title (i.e.,
Anyone who has ever read one my reviews knows that I don’t do “spoilers”. I will however, say that Peter Graham did a fantastic job of making a hotpot of fact and fiction. This “crime of the century” had everything thrown into the hotpot including teenage angst, fantasy, role-playing, questionable sexuality, wealth, poverty, affairs and most importantly a brutal senseless murder.

I finished this book greatly appreciating the author’s willingness to tackle such a troubling chapter in New Zealand’
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julie by: Tracie
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
This book is an in-depth account of an infamous 1954 murder in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two adolescent girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, murdered Parker's mother, in an attempt to avoid being separated. It was a huge cause célèbre, and the murder and subsequent trial were reported in the press worldwide. Both girls were found guilty (the defense tried to get an innocent verdict on the grounds of insanity) and spent several years in prison before being released and given new identities. J ...more
In staid 1950s New Zealand two teenage girls committed a murder that gained worldwide notoriety and which Peter Jackson would make into the movie Heavenly Creatures in 1994.

Juliet Hulme was the emotionally neglected daughter of well to do British immigrants. Her father Henry was a respected, but odd, scientist who came out to New Zealand to be rector of Canterbury University College.

Pauline Parker was the daughter of Bert and Honorah Rieper who were not well off and took in boarders to make end
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“So next time I write in this diary Mother will be dead. How odd yet how pleasing…”

Reads the diary entry of Pauline Parker on the night before she carried out one of the most brutal and notorious murders in NZ history. The description of the killing itself is genuinely quite sickening and disturbing.

I knew almost nothing about this case prior to picking up this book, so it was nice to come to it with fresh eyes and little in the way of preconceptions. Graham gives a fully fleshed out account of
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a complete analysis of the Hulme-Parker murder that took place in the 1950s, where two teenage girls bash to death one of the girl's mother. The author has done excellent research and has left out no aspect of the case. He has even taken into account theories that he does not agree with. The girls' family background is explored in depth, because it invariably helps in understanding their emotional state at the time of the murder. He also discusses various psychological theories put ...more
Melissa Peltier
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an excellent book for True Crime fans; a meticulously researched and detailed look into both the "Heavenly Creatures" murders as well as their aftermath. Graham looks at the events from all angles - though we're still left with a sense of incredulity at the brutality of it all. For me, bottom line is NARCISSM=BAD for everybody who crosses its path. ...more
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting read on a crime that shocked a nation. Still can't decide if they are mad or bad, and really wish that Juliet's diary hadn't been destroyed by her Mother when the girls were charged with murder, because I think we'd see a very different story to the one Miss Perry is portraying today. ...more
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Peter Graham, born 1947 in New Zealand.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Peter Graham is a retired barrister who has worked in Hong Kong for over thirty years. Peter Graham now lives in New Zealand and is a true crime writer.

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