Book Review

Book Review: Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

I work in a library, and when a patron came in ranting and raving about Anne Perry committing a murder, I thought maybe she was confused. However, after I googled it, I discovered that Anne Perry had helped to commit a murder when she was just 15 years old. To learn more about this situation, I read the book Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham.

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I must say that this story was fascinating. Back in the 1950s, Perry was known by her birth name Juliet Hulme. She and her friend Pauline had a bizarrely close relationship and together murdered Pauline’s mother. In this book, Graham did a great job at showing how their home lives and psychological issues might have contributed to what they did. He shows many factors that could have led to the murder and also discusses what happened to both women after they were let out of prison. Hulme¬†served five years in prison because she was minor and then was reinvented as Anne Perry and became a wildly prolific author of murder mysteries.

After learning more about the situation, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to read another Anne Perry book. I feel like I’d just be distracted by thinking of her life and wouldn’t be able to separate that from the fiction. What do you think? If one of your favorite authors committed a horrible crime, would you still be able to read his or her works? I’m very curious!

Book Review

Book Review: My Sweet Angel

I’ve been reading a lot of true crime books recently, and I came across this well-written book: My Sweet Angel by John Glatt.

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This book tells the true story of Lacey Spears, a woman convicted of murdering her son as she suffered from Munchhausen’s by Proxy. Glatt does an incredibly job at telling this story. Unlike many true crime books that start with the crime and reveal details as they were revealed during court, Glatt tells the story linearly. He begins by talking about Lacey in her pre-motherhood days and goes linearly through time until we reach her conviction. I thought this was a very effective way of showing us the progression of Lacey’s decline. She was clearly ill before she was even a mother – there is a lot of evidence that she was obsessed with and hurt other children – but things escalate after she has her own child.

Glatt’s research shows the many lies that Lacey told over the years. She seemed obsessed with being the center of attention, and she used social media to find bigger audiences. She manufactured tragedies to get more and more sympathy. Lacey is a truly fascinating person, and I’m still curious as to whether or not she believes her own lies. Unfortunately, she hurt people to get this attention, and her poor son died as a result of her actions. The evidence definitely shows that she murdered him deliberately. I will say that this book was very hard to get through because of the subject matter. I’m not even a mother and I found it emotionally devastating to read, so I imagine it would be even harder for most mothers to read. Still, Glatt is one of the best true crime writers out there, and I’d love to read more of his style.