Jean Sutherland MacLeod was born in 20 January 1908 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Allen and John MacLeod. Her father, who was a civil engineer, moved with jobs. Her education began at Bearsden Academy, continued in Swansea and ended in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She moved to North Yorkshire, England to marry with Lionel Walton on 1 January 1935, an electricity board executive, who died in 1995. They had a son, David Walton, who died two years before her. She passed away on 11 April 2011 at 103 years.
MacLeod started writing stories for the magazine The People's Friend, before sold her first romance novel in 1936. She wrote contemporary romances, most of them were set in her native Scotland, or in exotic places like Spain or Caribbean, places that she normally visited for documented. From 1948 to 1965, she also published under the pseudonym of Catherine Airlie. She published her last novel in 1996, a year after her husband's death. She was a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, where she met the writer Barbara Cartland, who was not too friendly.