Zenith Jones Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Zenith Jones Brown (December 8, 1898 – August 25, 1983) was an American crime fiction writer who also wrote for a time in England. She wrote under the pseudonyms David Frome, Leslie Ford, and Brenda Conrad. She is perhaps best known for her novels featuring the fictional Grace Latham and John Primrose, though some of her earlier standalone work has been praised.[1]

She was born Zenith Jones in Smith River, California[2] and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. Brown was educated at the University of Washington,[3] and worked there as a teaching assistant from 1921 to 1923. She was also assistant to the editor and circulation manager for Dial magazine from 1922 to 1923.[4] Brown began writing as “David Frome” in 1929 while staying in London with her husband.[5] She returned to the United States in 1931, and the couple settled in Annapolis, Maryland. Brown used the pen name “Leslie Ford” for her mystery novels published in the United States. During World War II, she wrote several novels about nurses under the name “Brenda Conrad”.[3] Brown was also a war correspondent for the United States Air Force in England[6] and the Pacific.[4]

Her books often appeared in serial format in The Saturday Evening Post before being published.[2] Brown also wrote short stories, which were published in various periodicals and anthologies.[4]

She married Ford K. Brown, a professor,[5] in 1921.[4] The couple had one daughter.[2]

Brown died at the Church Home in Baltimore at the age of 84.[2]

Selected books[edit]


  1. ^ Mind Your Murders: Leslie Ford's Murder in Maryland (1932) and The Clue of the Judas Tree (1933). The Passing Tramp. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Zenith Jones Brown". New York Times. September 1, 1983.
  3. ^ a b Murphy, B (1999). The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery. pp. 182–83. ISBN 0230107354.
  4. ^ a b c d N. A. N. A (2015). Twentieth Century Crime & Mystery Writers. pp. 595–98. ISBN 978-1349813667.
  5. ^ a b Clinton-Baddeley, V. C. (January–February 1984). "Death of a Mystery Writer". The Mystery Fancier. 8 (1): 21–22. ISBN 1434406423.
  6. ^ White, Terry (2003). Justice Denoted: The Legal Thriller in American, British, and Continental Courtroom Literature. p. 50. ISBN 0313303010.