Germaine Beaumont was the pen name of Germaine Battendier, born in Petit-Couronne near Rouen, France. Her mother was a writer under the pseudonym Anne de Pène and a close friend of Colette. After studying at Versailles, Germaine went to England at age 18 and remained there for seven years, cultivating her love of Dickens, Shakespeare and other English writers. In 1919, she returned to France, where Colette helped her get a job writing a column for the newspaper Le Matin. In 1927, she began writing for Les Nouvelles Littéraires about books, fashion, and society. She became the first woman to win the Prix Renaudot Prize for her first novel, Trap, published to acclaim in 1930.
In the 1950s, she co-produced a wildly successful radio program with film historian Pierre Billard called Les Maîtres du mystère (The Masters of Mystery), and from 1966 to 1977, she wrote literary criticism in Mystery magazine.
She published a book every year from 1930 to 1954, many of them featuring psychological drama and female detectives. She also published translations of the works of English-language authors such as Virginia Woolf and Truman Capote. She served on the jury of the Prix Femina for 40 years. At age 91, she published a memoir of her childhood entitled Une odeur de trèfle blanc (A Smell of White Clover).