Zelda Popkin (5 July 1898–25 May 1983, née Feinberg) was an American author of novels and mystery stories. She created Mary Carner, one of the first professional female private detectives in fiction. Carner was a store detective who appeared in five novels. Connections have been made with Angela Lansbury’s character in the television series Murder, She WroteJessica Fletcher.[citation needed]

Popkin's most successful book was The Journey Home, published in 1945, which sold nearly a million copies. Small Victory, published in 1947, was one of the first American novels with a Holocaust theme, and Quiet Street (1951) was the first American novel about the creation of the state of Israel. She also wrote an autobiography, Open Every Door (1956), chronicling her childhood, life with Louis, and life after his death. Herman Had Two Daughters (1968), a novel about two young Jewish women growing up in a small Pennsylvania town, is also largely autobiographical.

Zelda Popkin was married to Louis Popkin, and together they ran a small public relations firm until his death. They had two children, Roy and Richard.


  • Death Wears a White Gardenia (1938)
  • Murder in the Mist (1940)
  • Time Off for Murder (1940)
  • Dead Man's Gift (1941)
  • No Crime for a Lady (1942)
  • So Much Blood (1944)
  • A Death of Innocence (1971)

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