On 6 April 1925 she married the then barrister Percy Spender at Coraki in Northern New South Wales. Percy Spender later became a politician and diplomat and was made KCVO, KBE, QC. The couple had two sons. One son, John Spender, was also a politician and diplomat. The other, Peter Spender, wrote and produced several documentary films.
Jean Spender wrote racy and successful crime thrillers, most of which are set in Sydney with a lightly disguised Percy Spender as the hero.
Spender was an aunt of Dale Spender, feminist scholar, teacher and writer.
Jean Spender died on 25 March 1970 at Sydney.
- The Charge Is Murder!, Sydney: Dymocks, 1933 (novel)
- Death Comes in the Night, London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1938 (novel)
- Full Moon for Murder, London: Evans Brothers, 1948 (novel)
- Seven Days for Hanging, London: Robert Hale, 1958 (novel)
- Murder on the Prowl, London: Robert Hale, 1960 (novel)
- Death Renders Account, London: Robert Hale, 1960 (novel)
- Ambassador's Wife, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1968 (autobiography)
- Papers of Sir Percy Spender (including those of Jean Spender.) Accessed 10 February 2015.
- Photograph of Jean and Percy Spender at State Library of New South Wales. Accessed 10 February 2015.