Friday, November 25, 2011

True crime or cozy crime?

Has an author's private life ever influenced your reasons for reading or not reading their books?

My answer to this question is yes. When I was in my early twenties I was reading my way through the Thomas Pitt mysteries written by Anne Perry.
The Pitt series fall in the genre category of historical detective mystery, written during the Victorian period. I'd probably read a good six, seven maybe even closer to eight or ten titles when I discovered who she was.

Born Juliet Marion Hulme, she had committed a violent murder as a teenager in New Zealand. Suddenly Perry's mysteries didn't seem so cozy anymore. I think I may have tried to read another mystery of her's, but I couldn't get the bad taste out of my mouth.

The whole sorry saga is the story behind Peter Jackson's 1994 film Heavenly creatures. Kate Winslet portrays a teenage Hulme.
Hulme and her good friend Pauline Parker colluded to murder Parker's mother so that the teenage girl's wouldn't be separated after Parker's parents divorced. They conspired to lead Parker's mother down a remote pathway in a public park, and there planned to hit her with a brick within a stocking. Naively both girls thought one hit would do it, but it took many more hits before Parker's mother's brutal end. I don't know about you, but I really couldn't read another printed word by Perry after knowing this.

A new book has been written by Peter Graham, called So brilliantly clever, that tells the gory story.
I've only just now read a review of the book in my newspaper's literary section, and have not read it. And to tell you the truth I don't know if I want to read it. Anyway, if you like true crime, and I prefer my crime to be cozy, then you may want to check the story out. Or you may even want to check out some of Perry's works....


Anonymous said...

I can understand what you are saying. I too would normally feel exactly the same way. Only now that I am hypothesising life along tibettan buddhist terms I have had to reconsider my opinions of people based on what I am learning. I am learning that we are a mind, constantly evolving, moment by moment. Therefore, we are never the same. We hope that people will not judge us by our past actions, because we are not our actions, nor are we our thoughts.

In that light, we should *try* our very best to show compassion to others, and understand that they too are not who they were. They evolve moment by moment. They also have regrets, (hopefully), but like us, can not change their past.

I have tried to use this on a daily basis with thoughts about my soon to be ex husband. He is not who he was. I can not defame him for what he has done. Like the Buddhist Nun Robina Courtin who helps prisoners understand their actions and move forward with their mental health, I too must give my mind permission to not forget, but forgive.

I hope that doesn't come across as a religious rant. It is not intended so.

i hope for your own sake, you can push aside the knowledge of what she did, and see who she is as an author now. To not read her books seems like punishing yourself.

Deb said...

I was delighted to get your recent comment on my steampunkish blog! Thank you for reaching out to me. What a great treat to have a new friend from Australia.
I am familiar with this true murder story, and it has influenced my reading of her novels, have to admit. I keep looking at her picture and wondering why she's out of prison, and why she continues to get past thinking up murders! LOL I'm a new follower!
Please come visit my ordinary blog, as well, if you get a moment along the way.

scribeswindow said...

No, I don't think that your comments sound like a religious rant at all. In fact I admire your thinking and completely agree with the idea of learning and the mind constantly evolving.

I think if you have the chance to actually meet the person and have a conversation that would aid in moving along, or forgiving, or see someone for what they are now. I think that without the opportunity to do that it makes things harder to move forward. Almost like the past actions do remain static. I hope that makes sense?

Anyway, I like how you do say that it's best to look past, I think that sentiment goes a long way.

scribeswindow said...

Deb, I will certainly check out your other blog. I don't know how you find the time to be so organised and write on different blogs. Mind you I have two, but my other one is completely different and I'm hoping to get other people's input in it also over time. I love steampunk and want to read more of it so I look forward to seeing some of your reviews. :)

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