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The search for Anne Perry

Audio file

Seminar by Joanne Drayton given at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 5 September 2012, to discuss her recent book, The search for Anne Perry. The seminar publicity information is provided below. You can also download this audio as a podcast (12 mbs).

‘The search for Anne Perry’

On 22 June 1954, Juliet Hulme and her friend Pauline Parker, set out for an afternoon in Victoria Park, Christchurch with Pauline’s mother, Honorah Parker. For Honorah, the walk ended with her murder. Juliet and Pauline were subsequently tried in a sensational court case that was widely covered by the press in New Zealand and overseas.

Having been found guilty, Juliet spent five and a half years in prison. On her release she changed her name, left New Zealand and disappeared from view. Then Peter Jackson’s Heavenly creatures (1994) changed everything. With interest in the murder reignited, journalists managed to track down Juliet Hulme, who was now living under the name of Anne Perry – and leading a successful life as a best-selling crime fiction writer (she’s sold more than 25 million copies of her books).

While Anne’s identity has been revealed to the world for some years now, she has never spoken to a biographer about her life in-depth. However, in a ground-breaking move, the famously private Perry agreed to be interviewed by Joanne Drayton, allowing her unparalleled access to her friends, relatives, colleagues and archives. This unique access has resulted in the first comprehensive biography of Anne Perry, bringing together the two somewhat incompatible lives of Juliet Hulme the murderer and Anne Perry the best-selling author in a literary biography with a twist. 

JOANNE DRAYTON is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design at UNITEC, Auckland, where she lectures in art history and theory. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Ngaio Marsh: her life in crime (2008) and biographies of Edith Collier, Rhona Haszard and Frances Hodgkins.


Joanne Drayton and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

How to cite this page

The search for Anne Perry, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated