Peyton Place took the world by storm. It was a movie and a television show – but first, it was a book. Renee Mallet takes us back to the original book, the story that started it all. When we talk about juicy stories, this one has all the makings of a crime that makes your skin crawl, and actually root for the person who committed the murder! Shocking I know, but its the truth.
Background on the Peyton Place Murder
Grace Metalious was no ordinary housewife. She was a terrible housekeeper, and often lost track of her children, as she was buried in writing, and cheated on her husband more than once. Her mother raised her to expect better than the station she was born into, and so many things were “above her,” so to speak. She loved to write, but would come under fire for her “Peyton Place” book due to the names of some people that she knew in real life making an appearance, even though she insisted that all of the characters were made up.
Through the friendship with a journalist, Grace became familiar with the murder that would spark the book that made her famous, but it also made her an outcast in her community. It was one of those taboo subjects that people were happier to let lie, and not bring up. It was not conversation for polite company. Grace never cared what anyone thought, and plowed ahead.
Review of The Peyton Place Murder
I knew that the Peyton Place book was based on a true story. However, I could never have guessed at just how incredible the story of the murder of Sylvester Roberts would be. His daughter eventually confessed to the crime. She was sentenced to a prison term, although after a length of time, she changed her plea from Not Guilty to Guilty. This plea was changed to protect her younger brother. Many felt that her brother had a hand in the murder, but from reading through the story, and drawing some conclusions on Barbara herself, I have no doubt that she was capable of the killing, and of course, of moving and hiding the body, without the aid of her brother. They lived on a farm, and from a young age, she was used to the hard manual labor. Her father and older brothers were often away from home as they were Merchant Marines.
In the Peyton Place Murders, we not only get a glimpse of Grace herself. I will candidly admit to not caring for her in the slightest, but the people and the crime that she based her best selling novel off of. As I stated above, you will empathize with this killer, after learning the horrid secrets that she had been keeping, not telling anyone of the horrific abuses of her father. It was a time when these things were not discussed, and any hint of scandal was quickly and quietly done away with.
I really did enjoy this book, and it was one of those that sucks you in. The story of Barbara and the events that led to the death and cover up of her father was interesting, and you find yourself really hoping that she will get off the murder charge.
This book is perfect for a summer afternoon on the couch, or taking to the beach for a good read! For true crime lovers, this is one story that you are not going to want to miss – even if you discover that you can’t stand Grace Metalious, you will be drawn into the story of a young girl who would do anything to protect herself and her younger brother at any cost.
This book is available now from WildBlue Press!