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Monday, November 17, 2003

Dinnertime at Lunch 

First, the crime fiction stuff:

Phillip Margolin's next two thrillers to Dan Conaway at HarperCollins, in a major deal for seven figures, by Jean Naggar at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (NA). Harper has also licensed paperback reprint rights to Margolin's 1993 bestseller GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN from Doubleday and is in negotiations to acquire the reprint rights to two earlier books, THE LAST INNOCENT MAN and HEARTSTONE from the Jean Naggar agency. Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency with UTA recently closed two movie deals for Margolin.

Damn, I guess everything's coming up roses for the guy.

Ex-head of M15 Stella Rimington's AT RISK, a tautly drawn debut thriller about M15 agent runner Liz Carlysle and her race to avert a major terrorist attack, to Sonny Mehta at Knopf, in a significant deal, for two books, by Hutchinson. The book has also sold to: Heyne in Germany, Lattes in France, Unieboek in Holland and WSOY in Finland.

This is already getting tremendous buzz, and Rimington will be at next year's Harrogate Crime Writing Festival as well. If Sonny's got it, expect it to be fairly heavy on the "literary" stuff as well, since Knopf is known for that sort of thing (case in point: John Burdett's BANGKOK 8. Peter Spiegelman's BLACK MAPS and Dan Fesperman's THE SMALL BOAT OF GREAT SORROWS, and that's just from this year.)

TRIAL BY ICE AND FIRE author Clinton McKinzie's fifth and sixth suspense novels featuring Wyoming Special Agent Antonio Burns and his renegade brother Roberto, and continuing with more high-altitude adventure and courtroom drama, to Danielle Perez at Delacorte Dell, in a good deal, by John Talbot at the John Talbot Agency (world).

Oooh, moutain climbing. Perhaps my enthusiasm is lessened by the fact that I wasn't that impressed with the first book, but it's an author's perogative to improve, so hopefully that is indeed the case.

Serge Joncour's psychological suspense novel UV, winner of this year's Prix Roman France Televisions, in which a "friend" of the mysteriously absent son arrives at a family's summer house in Brittany, to Michele Hutchison at Transworld, in a nice deal, by Claude Tarrene at Les Editions Le Dilettante (world English).

This sounds rather neat. French psychological thriller....yeah, floats my boat.

Merry Jones' first novel THE NANNY MURDERS, a woman-in-jeopardy thriller featuring an art therapist who is a single mother and a reluctant assistant to the Philadelphia police department, enlisted to help as a serial killer has been dismembering local nannies, to Tom Dunne at Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, by Liza Dawson at Liza Dawson Associates (world).

Ah, femjep. No doubt a contender for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, in any case. I don't know if this is the same Merry Jones who has authored several books on adoption, birthmothering, and related topics, but it seems like a good possibility.

In other stuff:

Francine Pascal's THE RULING CLASS, a satire of the social wars that take place between the "ruling class" of female high school students and their designated prey, by the creator of the SWEET VALLEY HIGH series, to Paula Wiseman at Simon & Schuster, in a nice deal, by Amy Berkower at Writers House (US; UK).

Good lord, the Francine Pascal juggernaut lives! Wonder how many writers will be required for the factory mill for this particular series....

Author of the John Francis Cuddy private-investigator series and under the pseudonym of Terry Devane author of the Mairead O'Clare legal-thriller series Jeremiah Healy's third O'Clare novel, A STAIN UPON THEROBE, involving the Boston priest-rape scandal, optioned to Flatiron Films (Pay It Forward), in a deal worth up to half a million dollars, by Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents and Steve Fisher at APA.

Now this is cool news. Great to see a long-standing mystery author (and helluva nice guy) finally get some more recognition (and $$$) from Hollywood.

And last but not least, I am especially excited that this deal is official:

Teddy Hayes's Blood Red Blues, Dead By Popular Demand, the first novel in a new detective series featuring Harlem detective Devil Barnett, to Steve Hull at Justin, Charles & Co., in a nice deal, by Bob Silverstein at Quicksilver Books (world, excl. UK and Ireland).

First, a bit of clarification. Teddy's books have been available for a few years in the UK, published by The X Press, an extremely small UK-based publishing company that specializes in minority voices. BLOOD RED BLUES was first released in 1998, followed by DEAD BY POPULAR DEMAND in 2000. The series really started attracting attention when #3, AS WRONG AS TWO LEFT SHOES, was published in in March of this year and received a very favorable notice from Maxim Jakubowski at the Guardian. I read it over the summer and was rather impressed myself. I think it's a real match between a talented author and a fledgling publishing company that I'm always eager to support. I'm also hopeful that Justin, Charles & co., will provide a strong editorial hand, the one finishing touch that the X Press was, I feel, unable to fully give Teddy's books. See for yourself when they are available as of late next year.

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