Have you, dear reader, ever experienced a confluence of seemingly unrelated events or facts which absolutely blew your mind?

I cannot go wrong when my longtime friend and avid bookworm Annelle Poole recommends a good read. Thanks to her I’ve devoured mystery series by James Lee Burke, Nevada Barr, Ann B. Ross and Janet Evanovich. Recently, she reminded me to try prolific British mystery writer Anne Perry’s “Detective William Monk” series, one of many bestselling series by the author. I’m into the third book of the Monk series, and all I can say is Perry delivers!

In 1994, LOTR director Peter Jackson made “Heavenly Creatures,” a fascinating and amazingly crafted film based on a 1950s murder in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two schoolgirls, the beautiful and extroverted Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) and sulky and introverted Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) formed a bond of adolescent love and fantasy which led to their murder of Parker’s mother. The crime was horrific, the mother bludgeoned to death with a brick tied in a stocking. The girls served five years in prison and upon release were ordered never to see each other again.

It took my friend Bill Sumrall, who has never forgotten any detail he’s heard or read, to remind me of something I had filed away in some dormant grey cell.

Apparently the two girls never saw each other again, although they both eventurally ended up in Scotland. Pauline Parker ran a girls riding school and now lives on the remote Orkney Isles. She has never granted an interview about the murder. Juliet Hulme moved to England to live with her mother and assumed her stepfather’s name. She became the very successful writer of murder mysteries Anne Perry.


Shaw Kenawe said...

I saw that film a few years ago and enjoyed it. I'm having a flashback about a walk in the park where the girls did the deed. Am I right?

And I do remember that Perry became a writer.

B.J. said...

Shaw: You’re right! In fact, the film starts with the walk in the park, from which the girls emerge screaming and covered with blood. Do you remember the claymation fantasy sequences? The friend who recommended the Perry books was not aware of her background when she read them. It sure puts a different spin on the reads.

Frodo, dreading English novels, said...

Sam is apoplectic. Sam had no idea that "Pauline was in the Orkneys," and Perry and Evanovich are among the favorites of the other person who happens to believe that there are some male residents of Britain who are not gay.
Doesn't Hugh Grant play goalie for the English team in the World Cup?

B.J. said...

Sam! I am thrilled that you have read Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum! I have just one word for you: Ranger! (As in “Babe!”) Frodo, you will never get over the fact that I have lusted after Hugh Grant in my heart, LOL.

Bill Sumrall said...

Thanks for your kind comments. I'll put Perry on my reading list after I finish re-reading "Crooked House" by Agatha Christie for my classics book club meeting next week.

tnlib said...

Weird. You've piqued my interest enough to do some exploring. Thanks.

B.J. said...

Some interesting Wikipedia entries: “Anne Perry,” “Pauline Parker,” and “Hulme-Parker Murder Case.” BTW, I’m on book four of the William Monk series (there is a complete bibliography at the bottom of the Anne Perry entry), and the writing and characters are outstanding. BJ

B.J. said...

Obit of Beryl Bainbridge in July 2 New York Times states in part:

"After marrying Austin Davies, an artist and scenery painter, she began writing a novel based on a newspaper article about two New Zealand girls who murdered one of their mothers. (The case later inspired the film ‘Heavenly Creatures.’) ‘Harriet Said,’ completed in 1958, met with rejection on the grounds of its unsavory subject and frank treatment of teenage sexuality.

“What repulsive little creatures you have made the central characters, repulsive beyond belief,” one publisher wrote to her. The novel was not published until 1972."