PYRG Goes Scandinavian for ‘Whodunit’ Series
Penguin Young Readers group took North American rights to Martin Widmark’s the Whodunit Detective Agency, an internationally bestselling Swedish mystery series. Sarah Fabiny at Grosset & Dunlap acquired eight books from Seth Fishman at the Gernert Agency. PYRG said the series has sold over 2.5 million copies around the world, and Widmark has been referred to as “the children’s Agatha Christie.” The chapter-book titles, illustrated by Helena Willis and targeting children 7–10, are about two friends and classmates who run a detective agency in their small town. PYRG plans to publish the first two books in the series, which has been adapted to TV and film in Sweden, in August 2014. Widmark, who lives in Stockholm, is a former middle school teacher and textbook author.
Flatiron Hits High Seas with Foy
Bob Miller, for his new Macmillan imprint Flatiron Books, preempted world rights to George Michelsen Foy’s Finding North: A Journey into the Heart of Navigation. Agent Farley Chase, at Chase Literary, represented Foy. In the book, Foy follows the course his great-grandfather took in the late 19th century when he sank at sea in his ship, the Stavanger Paquet. Miller said Foy retraces his relative’s “fateful journey, exploring the deeper meanings of navigation and how it makes us human.”
Filipacchi to Norton
Amanda Filipacchi (Nude Men) sold a new work, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty, to Jill Bialosky at Norton. The novel’s narrator is a beautiful New York City costume designer who constructs an elaborate outfit to make herself appear ugly, in an attempt to find love. Meanwhile, the narrator’s friend, an unattractive musician, Norton said, “goes to fantastic lengths to make herself irresistible to the man who has rejected her.” Melanie Jackson, who has an eponymous agency, sold North American rights in the deal.
Grove Gets Booker Longlister
Peter Blackstock at Grove Atlantic bought U.S. rights, at auction, to the debut novel by Eve Harris, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in the U.K. Gráinne Fox at Fletcher & Company handled the sale, and also closed on a deal in Canada for the book, on behalf of Diana Beaumont at U.K. agency Rupert Heath Literary. The novel is about a 19-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman in London who is betrothed to man she barely knows.
Brecon’s Bear to Running Press
Running Press’s Lisa Chang bought world rights to the sophomore picture book by author/illustrator Connah Brecon. (Brecon’s debut, There’s This Thing, will be published by Philomel in 2014.) Kirsten Hall at the Bright Agency represented Brecon, and the new book, Frank, is about a frequently tardy bear who is shocked to discover that the tall tales he concocts as excuses are proving to be true.
Editor Turned Author Re-ups at Penguin
Former romance editor Huntley Fitzpatrick, whose debut My Life Next Door was published by Dial in summer 2012, closed a new deal with the Penguin imprint for two more contemporary romances for teens. (Dial is releasing Fitzpatrick’s sophomore novel, What I Thought Was True, in April.) Jessica Garrison bought world rights to the books from Christina Hogrebe at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, and the first title in the new deal is to be a sequel to My Life Next Door.