John Norman Harris is best remembered as the author of one of the first truly Canadian mysteries, The Weird World of Wes Beattie, which he published in 1963. Harris died tragically young at the age of 47. In 1989, a second mystery novel, Hair of the Dog, which he had written before his death but never published, was brought out posthumously.
Harris flew with the RAF during World War II, was shot down and was a prisoner of war in a German prison camp in Poland for three years. He helped plan one of the greatest prison-breaks of all time, an experience that formed the basis of his short story Mail, which launched his writing career by winning a Macleans magazine contest. He went on to write an espionage novel, The Sea Shall Not Have Them (US title: The Undaunted), which was made into a movie starring Michael Redgrave and Dirk Bogard.