The Crime Readers' Association

Lea O’Harra


Lea O’Harra is the pen name of Wendy Jones Nakanishi. Wendy, an American by birth, spent seven years in the UK: getting an MA at Lancaster and a Ph.D. in 18th-century English literature at Edinburgh University. She has been resident in Japan since the spring of 1984, employed full-time since her arrival as a tenured member of staff at a private university on the small island of Shikoku. She has published widely in her academic field — critical monographs, articles and book reviews about both English and Japanese literature — and, in recent years, publishes ‘creative non-fiction’ describing her life as an American academic living in rural Japan, the wife of a Japanese farmer and the mother of three sons. Wendy Jones Nakanishi published her first crime novel, entitled ‘Imperfect Strangers: an Inspector Inoue Mystery,’ in August 2015 under the pen name of Lea O’Harra. It is available on Amazon (courtesy of Endeavour Press, UK) in digital form and in print, issued by Fine Line Press, New Zealand. Her second novel in the Inspector Inoue mystery series, ‘Progeny,’ appeared in July 2016, and she has just published her third, ‘Lady First,’ in August 2017. ‘Progeny’ and ‘Lady First’ are available in Kindle version and as print-on-demand books from any Amazon site. In autumn 2017, ‘Lady First’ was awarded “finalist” status in the crime fiction section of the Beverly Hills Book Awards.

The latest publication ‘The Best Asian Crime Stories 2020,’ a Kitaab International publication edited by Richard Lord, is an anthology of stories in Asian settings, ranging from Japan to Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and India. It was launched at The Singapore Writers Festival, held online from 30 October to 8 November 2020. Lea O’Harra’s contribution, printed under the author’s real name of Wendy Jones Nakanishi, is entitled ‘Cold Comforts’. It a 10,000 word story set in a rural area of Japan.

Click here to read more about the publication.

Click here to watch the YouTube video consisting of interviews of the authors of the short stories included in the publication.

Other Awards

In autumn 2017, ‘Lady First’ was awarded “finalist” status in the crime fiction section of the Beverly Hills Book Awards.


Books by Lea O’Harra

  • Imperfect Strangers: an Inspector Inoue Mystery


  • Progeny


  • Lady First


  • The Best Asian Crime Stories 2020

Find another author

Filter by:

Join the CRA

Joining the CRA is FREE. There are no lengthy forms to fill out and we need nothing but your email. You will receive a regular newsletter but no spam.