London born crime writer Anne Perry who wrote more than twenty books has died. The author who found massive success with the Pitt and Monk detective novels died in Los Angeles on Monday, she had lived in the USA for many years.
Before her popularity as an author, Anne Perry found notoriety when she came to national attention after the brutal killing of her friend Pauline Parker’s mother in 1954, aged just 15. Pauline’s parents were planning to send her abroad and the pair concocted a plan to murder Honora Mary Parker, documented in Perry’s diaries. In a case that shocked New Zealand, they were convicted of murder after placing a brick inside a stocking and beating Parker with it more than twenty times.
A pair of aspiring authors, the pair were romantically involved and in a relationship that Perry herself called obsessive. Because the pair were under 18 at the time of the killing, they could not be sentenced to death and so were sentenced to be detained at her majesties pleasure.
After serving a five-year prison sentence Perry was released, changed her name and worked as a flight attendant in the US, later returning to the UK to start her writing career, penning The Cater Street Hangman in 1979, the first in a series of books featuring Victorian policemen Thomas Pitt.
In 2000 Anne Perry won the Edgar Award, which celebrates mystery novel writers with Heroes, a short story about a murder that takes place in the trenches during The Great War. Perry never retired and as working on further Pitt and Monk novels at the time of her death.
Perry is survived by her brother Dr Jonathan Hulme and his family. Perry never married or had children of her own.